Chapter 0273 Danger
While the Central Nations were excited about the dispatch of delegations to the Western Countries.
A C-rank party was in danger in the eastern part of the Kingdom.
A swordsman was barely conscious, but unable to move on his own.
A twin swordsman, carrying the swordsman on his back, trying to escape the crisis.
And a priest clearing a path of retreat with his staff for the both of them.
Swinging, striking, and thrusting his staff.
Due to the nature of the weapon, it can even attack at range, so the priest Zeke, was using his staff to clear the monsters out of the way.
However, since they were in the forest, he couldn’t swing as much….
They just needed to get out of the forest right away.
“Gowan, we’re almost out of the forest. Just hang in there a little while longer! ”
“Sure! I still have some strength in me!”
Gowan followed Zeke with Harold on his back.
Though he said he was fine, Zeke understood that his fatigue was also reaching its peak.
Because Zeke was also reaching his limit.
“Okay, we’re out! …?”
Gowan exclaimed happily, but… his words were soon cut short.
The reason was obvious.
A swarm of monsters was just ahead of the three of them as they exited the forest.
Bipedal monsters with the head of a pig, less than two meters tall.
They often carry weapons in their hands.
It could be swords or simple cudgels.
They are more intelligent than ogres and more robust than goblins.
In terms of strength, they are somewhere between the two, but their intelligence makes them troublesome opponents in group battles.
There were roughly fifty such Orcs.
“Why are they here…?”
Gowan muttered involuntarily, but Zeke also wondered the same thing.
Moreover, they were waiting for them with weapons, as if they knew the three of them were coming.
But that wasn’t the time to think about it.
(I need to find us a way out of here…)
Zeke, while holding his staff in front of them, moved only his gaze left and right, searching for a way out.
However…he found none.
(Seems the only way out is by slaughtering these pigs…)
There was no other way.
Fifty orcs… that too while protecting Harold and Gowan.
He felt nothing but despair.
Perhaps, if he were alone, he could break through the orcs and escape.
Even Gowan might be able to manage.
But with the deadweight Harold in tow, it would be impossible.
And leaving Harold behind wasn’t an option for Zeke.
And he wasn’t the only one with that sentiment ….
“Zeke, I’ve got Harold. I won’t let them lay a finger on him!”
Saying that, Gowan laid Harold on the ground and stood in front of him with both of his swords drawn.
Neither Zeke nor Gowan had any intention of leaving Harold behind.
“Okay. I’ll leave him to you.”
With that, Zeke kicked the ground and plunged into the orc pack.
‘Cuts like a sword, thrusts like a spear, sweeps like a naginata*.’ (TLN: A pole weapon)
That is an ancient Japanese poem describing how the staff has all the characteristics of a spear, a naginata, and a sword.
And there is another one.
‘To admonish, without hurt.’
That’s right, originally, a staff is meant to subdue without harming the opponent… originally.
But on ‘Phi’, likewise, even the staffs used by priests, don’t conform to such teachings.
Because the staff is a ‘holy blessed’ weapon.
It’s an ordinary staff when used against humans, but not against monsters.
It inflicts dozens of times more damage than it does to humans.
Depending on the target, even an orc can be killed with a single blow.
Of course, if used against the undead, the damage is doubled.
Zeke dove into the swarm of orcs, swinging his staff.
Even if he couldn’t defeat them, he would incapacitate them. If not, he’d aim to reduce their fighting strength.
So he kept thrusting! Thrusting! And thrusting!
His appearance was like that of a demon god.
“Damn, Zeke really is amazing…”
The dual swordsman, Gowan, muttered.
Gowan had given all of his loyalty to Harold.
Since he saved his life.
But he had full, unwavering confidence in Zeke.
Harold also trusted Zeke.
Zeke was also opposed to their trip down east this time.
Normally Harold would listen to Zeke’s opinion, but this time he stubbornly refused….
Hence their current predicament.
At any rate, Zeke is amazing.
Not only in terms of his light-attribute magic as a priest, but also in his judgment, action, and combat ability.
It was the first time he would see him pull out all the stops on his staff techniques since joining the party, and yet it wasn’t at all surprising.
That’s Zeke alright …. He felt so from the bottom of his heart.
And for that reason!
Several orcs rushed towards Gowan and Harold avoiding Zeke altogether….
“Over my dead body!”
He slashed at them with his dual swords, not allowing even a single strike.
Gowan, too, is a C-rank adventurer.
His combat prowess was proof enough that he was worthy of the C-rank.
However… it was still tall a task for the two of them to defeat fifty orcs.
While still fighting like a demon god, a part of Zeke’s mind was calmly analyzing the battle situation.
(We can’t defeat them all…)
But they couldn’t stop either.
Even though he had reduced the number of orcs, it was no longer possible for him to escape now.
The point of no return… the chance to turn back had passed.
(At the very least Harold and Gowan must make it…)
He thought, but Gowan was also fighting covered in serious injuries.
Since Zeke wouldn’t be able to maintain his combat awareness while using Heal, Gowan remained wounded and continued to protect Harold.
An orc’s cudgel hit Zeke’s leg, causing him to yelp and fall to his knees.
Several offensive magic spells and arrows struck the orcs from behind.
At the same time, an order echoed around the vicinity.
A group of knights suddenly attacked the orcs from behind.
That was something even the orcs had not anticipated.
They became disoriented, and could no longer move in an organized manner.
They began to flee, and then the knights attacked them from behind, culling them even further.
And in just a minute after the knights made their appearance, all the orcs were on the ground.
“Are you guys all right?”
The commander walked up to Zeke, who managed to stand with his staff as support.
The crest on their chest…
“Knights of Silverdale?”
“Silverdale is a dukedom in the central region, near the royal capital, right? What brings them to this eastern part of the country?”
Zeke identified the knight order, and Gowan questioned after hearing that.
But before anything else, they conveyed their gratitude.
“Thank you for your assistance. My companion got caught in some kind of hidden trap and we came under attack by a group of orcs while fleeing. So, thank you very much.”
“Don’t worry about it, I’m just glad we made it in time. And it looks like you’re heavily wounded, Priest, and so is the dual swordsman. If you don’t mind, I can have my priests heal you.”
Zeke bowed his head as he said this.
Soon after, the priests with the knight order split up to heal Zeke and Gowan.
Then, they examined Harold, but….
“What in the world is this…”
The priest muttered involuntarily. He had never seen anything like it.
Harold appeared to have what looked like a blue flame… erupting right near his heart.
Like some kind of illusion…it probably wasn’t a real flame, since he didn’t feel any heat when he held his hand over it.
But the priests with the Knight Order had no idea what it was…or how the situation came to be.
“I don’t think you’ll have much luck alleviating the condition of that fellow around this region. As you may have figured out from our crest, we are the Knights of Silverdale. We are currently in this eastern part of the country on an expeditionary exercise… and are staying in Wingston, the largest city in the east, but there is no High Priest here at the moment…”
“Yes, we’re aware of that. Pardon me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you Lady Faith of the Silverdale Dukedom?”
“Indeed, I’m Faith.”
In response to Zeke’s question, Miss Faith nodded and replied.
“This fellow of mine is Master Harold, nephew of His Majesty the King.”
“Harold? The late Crown Prince Caindish’s orphaned child, huh…”
Miss Faith seemed surprised by that.
“I see. Then you best make haste… right, it would be best to have him examined at the Central Temple in the royal capital. The Silverdale Dukedom will provide you with a carriage. From Wingston, you can be in the royal capital in two days if you hurry.”
In unison, Zeke and Gowan expressed their gratitude.
“Very well. All hands, clear out!”