Extra chapter thanks to my Patreons~
Chapter 95: First joint front
Craigisna Village. As a village made around a bridge over the river, it connected Logavia with the southern highway.
The village had a thriving livestock industry and had cattle and horse farms spread across the village.
In particular, they were famous for the cow breeds that they had bred over generations of which was consumed by not only the King of Logavia but also in the palaces of the Avalonia Kingdom and the Cataphract Kingdom.
One must cross through the southern highway to reach Logavia. Travelers would always adjust their schedule to make sure to stay a night in Craigisna Village to have a taste of Craigisna beef, albeit not the best breed.
“Please stop! That is a bull!!”
While holding a gently-curved orc-made saber, the orc soldier stared at the man clinging to him with a sadistic smile.
“It the bloodline that has been bred since the time of my father, grandfather and their ancestors! Haven’t I already given you all the cows! If you take this bull as well, my family’s cow breed will be extinct! All the work my forefathers put in would go to waste!”
“Like I care.”
The orc swung his saber without hesitation.
The saber pierced through the man’s back. The man collapsed while exclaiming in agony.
“Demon-sama has commandeered all food items in this area.”
The orc walked over to the tied-up bull.
However, a young girl with both hands spread open stood in front of the frightened bull.
“Do-don’t put your hands on father’s bull!”
Beside her were two young men with pale faces holding a pitchfork and a hoe.
The orc licked his lips.
The orc continued striding forward while their father’s blood dripped down from his saber.
The young girl wanted to flee in fear but when she saw her father’s figure collapse on the ground in blood, she shut her eyes tight and stood her ground.
The young girl and young men would probably be killed without putting up any resistance. But those actions were not meaningless. The young girl decided that for the sake of her family, she had to stand her ground and fight. The young girl and young men understood that if they did otherwise, they would continue to regret it for their entire life.
Sensing the orc raise his saber, the young girl found her clattering teeth annoying and she desperately clenched her teeth.
Lit and I thrust our respective swords into the gaps of the orc’s leather armor. The orc collapsed and stopped moving.
“Are you guys all right!?”
Lit ran over to the youngsters. During that time, I headed over to the collapsed farmer and made him drink a Cure Potion.
“It would be better if I gave you an Extra Cure Potion but please endure with just a Cure Potion.”
His consciousness was dim due to the blood loss but his wound was sealing up so his life was probably not in danger.
“Are you Hero Lit-san!?”
“Yeah, I am. I am sorry for coming late. I am here to save this village.”
I heard cheers mixed with tears from Lit’s direction.
When I turned to look back, Lit hugged the young girl with a smile to reassure them and instructed them to hide until the end of the battle.
“Don’t worry, you will be in time for dinner.”
“Yes. Please believe in Hero Lit.”
“Yes!! Is the person there Lit-san’s companion?”
Lit was at a loss for words when the young girl pointed at me.
I unconsciously grinned.
“What’s this? Am I a companion?”
Lit glared at me as I teased. The young girl’s expression clouded over with unease as she looked at us.
Lit hurriedly replied.
“E-eh, yes! That guy is my companion. He’s very strong so the Demon Lord Army will be a breeze with us around.”
The young girl and young men looked at me with sparkling eyes. I desperately held back my laughter.
“Thank you! Lit-san’s companion!”
Lit made a complicated expression when the young girl and young men said that.
Lit kicked my back when I burst out laughing after we left the farm.
Of course, she wasn’t able to connect the kick.
“Don’t avoid it!”
Theodora and I were supposed to launch an attack on the orcs in order to liberate the Craigisna Village occupied by the Demon Lord Army.
When they experience a surprise attack, the orcs occupying the village will first gather at their commanding officer to collect information. The plan was for Ruti and the others to strike then and show the subordinate orcs our act of killing their commanding officer in order to collapse their morale and rout them.
As our members did not even number ten, it was impossible to fight against a deployed army. We had to strike when they were gathered.
Lit wanted to observe our method and tagged along without permission. Originally her plan was to strike the commanding officer together with Ruti and the others but she could not hold herself back after seeing the Demon Lord Army doing as they please around the village.
Thus Lit swapped places with Theodora and we were hunting orcs together as such.
“Ah sheesh! I had no choice okay! There was no way I could say you weren’t my companion in such a situation! That child would be worried!”
“That’s right. Lit is such a reliable companion.”
While we were talking back and forth, I saw four orcs walking together, presumably as patrols.
“Now then, there are four orcs ahead.”
“I will take the two on the left.”
“OK, I’ll take the ones on the right then.”
The orcs noticed us and raised battle cries.
Earlier we didn’t have the leisure to choose so we defeated it immediately but doing so without causing any commotion would be opposite of what we wanted to achieve with the plan.
“All right, shall we go?”
I drew my sword and charged.
“Who are you people!!”
The orcs drew their sabers and fought back.
The orc blocked my first strike with his saber.
“You can stop it huh? You are quite good.”
The remaining three orcs immediately tried to attack me.
“What are you struggling for!”
Lit came flying over with shotels in both hands.
The orc thought that he had blocked the single strike from the inwardly curved blade which was the specialty of the shotel with his saber but the tip of the blade connected with the orc’s body.
At that split moment, the concentration of the orc in front of me wavered. I capitalized on that lapse in concentration and pulled back my sword before thrusting it through the orc’s left shoulder.
The two orcs held their wounds and staggered backward before collapsing.
However, the remaining orcs did not falter and stood back-to-back. From their looks, it seemed that they were confident of their skills even after seeing Lit and my sword technique.
… Those guys were probably strong.
“Collaborative martial arts: Aun Combined Wind Blades!”
Wind blades rolled in from all directions.
Tension ran across Lit’s expression for the first time.
We defended against the countless blades as we dashed backward.
” … I guess we were bound to encounter such foes occasionally when fighting against the Demon Lord Army main army.”
I muttered as I looked at the scratches on my armor from the blades that I failed to parry with my sword.
The sleeves of Lit’s robe was torn as well. Neither of us was injured but it would be difficult to break through that whirlwind of blades.
“I am Gaderyut. It means Firebird.”
“I am Bijuryut. It means Thunderbird.”
“”It is your bad luck that you face the thirteenth cavalry’s Hijugade (Thunderfire)!””
They were probably heroes among the orcs.
Warriors who increased their divine protection level by surviving near-death experiences numerous times.
“And they have collaborative martial arts too.”
It was a martial art that could double the effect of their martial arts when they activated them together. That just now should have been the songsword martial art ‘Au Wind Blade’ and ‘Un Wind Blade’ activated at the same time.
“Although this is the first time I’ve actually seen it.”
Skilled warriors of such caliber. We must take them down here no matter what.
I tried tossing a throwing knife but it was quickly shot down by the wind blades.
Lit tried shooting a Flame Arrow made using her Spirit Magic but that disappeared as well without reaching them.
“No arrow nor magic can penetrate our Aun Combined Wind Blades!”
They didn’t seem to be bluffing. Although it might be a different matter if it was powerful magic from Ares or Theodora. It seemed like it would difficult relying on Lit’s magic to break through.
Lit readied her sword and seemed to want to challenge them in close combat.
I held Lit’s arm which was holding the sword.
“E-eh? When did you?”
I used the skill ‘Lightning Feet’ to run around to Lit’s side.
The orcs showed surprised expressions for an instant but they quickly regained their calm.
“A skill to make your legs faster huh. But no matter how quick your feet are, it does not matter to their martial arts!”
My ‘Lightning Feet’ certainly could not break through the ‘Aun Combined Wind Blades’ which covered their entire surroundings.
My skill merely increased my movement speed. It does have the effect of making it harder to aim at me using ranged attacks but it was powerless against a storm of countless blades.
“What is it, don’t tell me you want to escape!”
Lit glared at me as I held onto her arm.
“Of course not. But we can’t take our time here either.”
“That’s why I am trying to fight!”
I put more force into my grip and looked into Lit’s eyes.
“Wh-what is it …”
“We have to collaborate as well. I will defend against the attacks so Lit please focus on attacking.”
” … Collaboration huh, well I admit there is some merit to that. But.”
【Gochin】. It was the sound of Lit head butting me … it hurt.
“I misjudged you. My dual-blades can deal with more attacks and your long sword is longer than my shotel. You would have to enter a range shorter than your reach. The roles are reversed. Or are you planning to say that it is a knight’s duty to protect the lady? Don’t be stupid!!”
Lit stared straight into my eyes while our foreheads were still touching.
That’s right, Lit was correct.
“Sorry. Will you protect me?”
“Leave it to me.”
Lit readied both her swords and stood in front while I stood behind.
“The Aun Combination Wind Blades is a martial art with roughly 270 degrees effective range. They are covering for each other’s blind spot by standing back-to-back. So there is no blind spot. However, there is a portion where the blades are thinner. Our aim is to enter directly in front of one foe. As that would be the blind spot of the other.”
We faced the orc directly. And charged straight into the position where our line of sight intersected.
However, the orc smiled complacently.
“This is our technique! Don’t think of breaking through with just that alone!”
The orcs with their backs against each other matched their breathing timing and spun. Into a position where they looked at us at the side. That was where the blades were the most concentrated.
“We can concentrate our wind blades in a single point! The Aun Combination Wind Blades has no blind spot!”
The immediately restarted their martial art: Aun Combination Wind Blades. In that instant, I activated ‘Lightning Feet’ while pulling Lit’s arm.
Lit and I moved directly in front of an orc in the blink of the eye.
Unlike the surprised orcs, Lit didn’t hesitate for an instant and charged into the blades.
Lit’s dual blades rang out in a super fast rhythm.
Lit’s sword deflected the wind blade that was about to slice my eyebrow off. However, to cover me, Lit had stretched her right hand and her body was wide open. Countless blades rushed over as she became a larger target.
Lit deflected them with just the sword in her left hand but the blades she failed to deflect cut shallowly into her thighs.
“Another three steps!”
I shouted to Lit instead of fussing over her.
She took one step. Then another. Fresh blood gushed out from Lit’s left arm. However, she did not stop. Then, the third step.
Lit and I swapped positions while touching shoulders.
The thrust sword pierced through the orc’s leather armor and drove into his chest.
But the orc grabbed hold of my sword even in that state.
The orc’s entire body stiffened and I could not pull out the sword I thrust into him.
And the other orc thrust his saber down at my heart.
Lit’s hand drew close to my outstretched left hand. In my hand was Lit’s shotel after I pulled it back.
With Lit’s shotel in my left hand, I slashed at the orc who was swinging his saber.
The saber that the orc swung stopped close to my neck.
【Gachi Gachi】 There was a sound of grinding metal. Lit’s shotel blocked the saber that was swung down at me.
“You don’t appear to be protecting yourself at all. It’s amazing how much you trust your companion … “
The orc murmured words of praise to me with a hoarse voice.
The blade of the shotel pierced deeply through the orc’s flank into his internal organs and the saber-wielding orc went limp and collapsed.
The remaining orc pulled out my sword that was pierced into him as he stared at his collapsed companion. Blood gushed out. It was a fatal injury.
With a smile on his blood-stained lips, the final orc collapsed next to his partner as if wanting to remain together until the end.
Red and Lit, their first collaborative fight.
It was the time when Red’s fighting ability had just been overtaken by his companions so he was still relying purely on his fighting ability.