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In the middle of forest, the footsteps of four people could be heard. This place was Lukia forest in the Karam region. It was within a stone’s throw from Loto village, and also the place the Demon King resided. As a forest, Lukia forest is kind of young, yet because people rarely enter, it was covered with weeds and barely has animal trails for road. The reason people rarely enter perhaps because the resources inside was scarce.
While it can’t be said completely unexplored, there was no processed land and it was overgrown with knee-high grass.
“The sunlight is so so… and the visibility has slowly become better. Lisa how far you can sense?”
“Even when I give my all it doesn’t even reach 50m radius. That number is mostly for front and rear. Currently I don’t feel any hostile presence, but I recommend we advance with caution.”
“Alright, Alfi, get behind Lisa.”
It has been two hours since they entered Lukia forest. They steadily entered deeper into the forest, yet there was not a speck of enemy presence. They had left early it the morning, and the sun has gradually climbed higher in the sky yet the gloomy impression doesn’t disappear at all.
“I don’t feel any good vibes from this…”
“Probably this is a barrier from monster with darkness attribute. Since we haven’t entered too deep, yet the sunlight doesn’t shine well.”
“I know it, Albert. Perhaps we should sing and let them come here instead?”
“Try it. I won’t stop you, Anorun.”
Alfilis play along with Anorun’s frivolous talk. Anorun also counterattacked undauntedly,
“If I sing, the enemy will fall for my charm and lose their fighting spirit. Perhaps it’s better if Alfi sang.”
“You don’t remember? It was the second time we met. You were pretty drunk because I accompanied you drinking right? When I thought you were sleeping, you suddenly woke up and sang ‘Mr. Forrest Wolf’ with a loud voice. You really don’t remember?”
“It is the truth. Moreover the alteration you did is pretty well.”
“That’s right. It was full with dirty jokes, a song filled with xxx.”
“I-I can’t become bride anymore…”
Alfilis was half-crying. The part about alteration is a lie, but she indeed sang loudly. Additionally because her tone-deafness, many tried to stop her, yet they were thrown away easily by her.
In the end the song didn’t stop until Alfilis fell asleep again, and Anorun remembered the shopkeeper’s tragic face as he kept working. As for Anorun, she completely sealed her ears and drank bit by bit while waiting for Alfilis to fall unconscious.
It was a masterpiece story as far as Anorun was concerned, and the reason she brought it up now was to check whether the inexperienced Alfilis was nervous or not. However, it seems it was a needless worry. Either she was dull, or she did have guts, Alfilis acted like usual. While Anorun felt she was pretty reliable with that, she also curious how she could act per usual in this situation. As they were gossiping while walking, suddenly Lisa noticed the change in the air.
“…Everyone, something’s wrong.”
“…Ah, it is too quiet.”
“Even the presence small animals and birds I sensed before disappeared.”
“Are they coming?”
“They might come from anywhere, huh.”
The playful expressions disappeared from everyone’s faces. Readying their weapon, Albert moved to the right, while Anorun to the left, while Alfilis and Lisa stand back a bit. Anorun held something in her mouth.
“What is that, Anorun?”
“Mouthpiece. Without this my tooth won’t last when I put my full strength.”
Though Alfilis wanted to add something, they don’t have the leisure anymore.
“Lisa, the enemies’ presence?”
“Not yet… but I feel gazes.”
“Hm. Me too.”
“Be careful. Alfi…I think they will come from every direction except the rear…”
Alfilis prepared her bow and arrow in advance so she can shoot anytime. To heighten her response, her breath became faster and shallower. Alfilis noticed that her heartbeat became one level faster.
“Alfi! From below!!”
Lisa shouted. But, which one between them was faster? Alfilis threw her bow and drew her sword, and then stabbed at the giant earthworm which came from the ground.
“It is an Earth Worm!”
Together with that voice, enemies came from all directions. Goblins rained towards Albert from above, while Anorun was attacked by Earth Worms from her surroundings. Additionally, Orcs rushed towards them from the sides while letting out strange voices. There were various types of monsters.
“This is demon king’s army…!”
“Hmfh! Small fry!”
Anorun mowed down the Earth Worm from her surroundings with a single swing of her maces, and immediately faced the Orcs.
“Here I go!!!”
The sound of Anorun gritting her teeth even reached Alfilis. With that momentum, Anorun swung around her hammer-shaped maces towards the Orcs’ guts. The Orcs tried to defend with their clubs, but,
Together with a plosive sound, the vanguard Orcs lost their upper bodies. Additionally, the hammer they wielded were also thrown back and hit the Orcs in the back. A little later, the blown upper body rained down from the sky and created a rain of blood. Looking at that, the Orcs came to their sense and become panicky, however it was too late.
Anorun shouted, and every time her maces danced, Orc’s heads and arms, also the weapons they tried to use to defend were blown away without exception.
An Orc is a creature with a larger and stronger physique than humans, yet has low intelligence. What is inside their heads was only to fight, sleep, and reproduce. And when they enter their battle state, they will lose their self and keep coming towards their enemy until death, yet those Orcs currently tried to run away. Because they have low intelligence, their instincts were sharpened, and they noticed that the woman in front of them was not a pushover. Anorun who kept charging while bathing in Orc’s blood actually looked like more like a demon than the Orcs. At that time, the charging Anorun suddenly stumbled on something.
Anorun tripped on a Treant’s root, and the Treant quickly tried to cover Anorun with its vines.
“This is troublesome, how-e-ver! Because Alfi said Treants also appeared, I already took some measure.”
Anorun took a small bottle of something and threw it towards the Treant. At that moment, suddenly the Treant became pained.
“It’s just herbicide. But! It is strong enough to kill large trees!”
Just like that, she fixed her grip on her maces and swung it towards the Treant. Together with a crackling sound, the treant split diagonally.
Additionally, with her momentum she added an additional swing and half and the Treant bursted into pieces.
“Anorun’s really amazing! …Ah, what about Albert!?”
When Alfilis turn around, what lied ahead was even more astonishing sight.
Albert swung his sword to clear the blood in it. In his feet, countless Goblin corpses made a small hill. The number easily crossed thirty corpses.
Additionally, despite there being still dozens of Goblins, all of them hesitated to attack Albert. Perceiving that in an instant, without waiting the Goblins to make a move, Albert moved ahead and cut them. It was an intense battle. No, it closer to a massacre than a battle.
With a swing of his sword, Albert cut three to four Goblins and blasted them away. Although Goblins are smaller than humans, they are still from a race born to fight, thus in average they are still more agile and stronger than humans.
Among Albert’s exploits there wa a time when a Goblin tried to hide behind a tree, yet Albert just cut the tree, together with the Goblin. A tree that even Alfilis won’t be able to hold half of it with both hands just being cut like that, what an outrageous swordsman.
The crowd of Goblins near him started to run away. At that time, one of the Goblins was suddenly grabbed by the head and then crushed just like that.
“Is that a Cyclop?”
“No, it is the superior variety, a Gigantes. Cyclops are too stupid to use weapons, but look, it is properly equipped with a hammer.”
After cleaning up the left side, Anorun returned.
“We must assist him.”
“I don’t think it is necessary. The name Lazar is not just for show.”
“Bu-but, with that difference in constitution?”
The Gigantes’ figure crossed three meters in height. And even the hammer in its hand was bigger than Albert.
“Well, just watch. Everyone shouldering the name Lazar is not normal. Just so you know their first generation is a swordsman capable massacre demon king’s army alone and even hunt the demon king.”
“Well his rumours might contain exaggeration, but he was a man who rose from a slave to holy knight commander you know? And I heard no one opposed it. Considering he even moved those thick headed people in church, I won’t be surprised if it was true.
Additionally, Albert was said to be the strongest even among the generations. If we didn’t coincidentally pass this place, perhaps he will fulfil this mission alone. That’s why you need not to worry.”
As if cutting Anorun’s words, the two of them moved. Both of them swung their weapons downwards towards their prey crossing at each other—however, Albert’s sword was faster and it cut the handle of gigantes’ hammer and then tore its waist. The disordered Gigantes fell to its knee and in the next second, Albert swung his sword upwards towards its neck and cut it off cleanly.
Its blood spurted towards Albert.
“How can he do something like that without putting all his weight to his sword…”
However their target of praise—Albert was still alert. Looking at him, wariness returned to their face. In the next moment Alfilis and co. jumped simultaneously.
Together with loud explosive sound and shockwave, the place where Alfilis and co. stood before was engulfed with a blaze. Flame element magic. From where was it casted? However faster than their thinking, Alfilis already affixed an arrow to her bow and probed the enemy’s whereabouts.
Alfilis released the arrow strengthened with magic. The target was 50 meters ahead. A demon-like monster with horns growing from its head. It seemed that it has the role of the commander. The monsters hiding in the shadow of trees tried to block Alfilis’ arrow. In this era, a normal arrow can only travel at a distance of 20m, and could only travel at a straight line so normally it won’t reach, however Alfilis’ arrow was imbued with wind magic.
In the air, the arrow turned in an impossible direction and flew towards the monster. The monster looks startled, but still showed a quick reaction by using its arm as a shield to avoid fatal wound.
“As expected, with this distance one is not enough.”
But when Alfilis said it, Anorun and Albert already rushed towards the monster and already achieved a considerable distance. The monster tried to correct its stance to face Albert, but at that time,
Together with meat-ripping noise, in the monster’s head, another horn grown. Nope, looking closely it was a blade which came from the shade of trees.
“I took the best part!”
Lisa already stood behind that monster. Alfilis understood that fact together with the sound of collapsing demon.
It seemed a blade was crammed in Lisa’s white walking stick. But, when did she move to its back?
While cleaning the blade with leaves, Lisa returned to Alfilis and co.
“Alfilis, isn’t it embarrassing to lose sight of me?”
“Eh, but, you were behind me just a second ago…”
“It’s another application of Sensor’s skill, right?”
Anorun looks at Lisa with admiring gaze. Lisa nodded,
“That’s right. Other than sensing presence, I can use it the opposite way. I suppressed my presence and make myself extremely hard to find.”
Lisa answered. While Albert seemed convinced, Alfilis who didn’t know anything about Sensors could only stare in wonder.
“You can do something like that?”
“You know there was a commander since the beginning?”
“Yes. The attack seems a bit too organized for monsters, after the Earth Worm came out I searched for the commander first and moved behind it. Good thing the commander was humanoid, so I could finish it off.”
“To receive your praise is a honour for me, Onee-sama.”
Lisa bowed toward Anorun, however she stuck her tongue toward Alfllis.
“No-not cute at all…”
“Are you trying to say you are going to seize this Lisa, the peerless beauty?”
“Why are you saying something like that?”
“Did you remember when you leap away from explosion before? You didn’t check Lisa position at all and just evaded by yourself didn’t you?”
That’s true…and thus Alfilis can’t help but feel ashamed. However looking at her like that, Lisa didn’t put the matter into rest but pursue further.
“Lisa is just a weak little girl. If Lisa just stuck with you we both might have been burned black right now. I heard giant woman is slow in many ways, and it seems that it is true. Good grief.”
“However your timing with the arrow is excellent and the aim also good so I will count this time as even. If not for that arrow as expected I won’t be able to attack him from behind unnoticed. Be grateful towards Lisa’s generosity.”
“Why I must be grateful…”
Haah… Alfilis sighed.
“Don’t let your guard down. This is nothing but a skirmish.”
“That’s right. If it was only at this level, there should be someone from the research team who could slip out and return. A demon king is no pushover. Especially since this demon king has a subordinate who can use magic.”
Albert and Anorun showed grim expressions. Lisa quickly responded,
“…It seems so. The big one is coming. 1 o’clock direction, distance 70m.”
“The general appeared! I am pumped!”
“Miss Alfilis, please stand back. It seems this one is big.”
“Alright. Lisa, let’s take some distance.”
Albert and Anorun stayed at the front while Alfilis and Lisa moved to the rear. Not long after the sound of trees snapping and being mowed down could be heard. Something…something big enough to mow trees down was coming towards Alfilis and co.
Everyone’s tensions rose as if in agreement. Alfilis’ instincts told her that something even more dangerous than everything they had faced just now was coming towards them. The hair on their necks stood up. And they were trembling, a part of it because of excitement. And then, in front Alfilis and co., it appeared…