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437 Part 1
The Black Demon King
Chapter 23: Holy Maiden of Helvetia
Episode 437: The Three Bodyguards
“W-Wait a moment! This looks dangerous!”
“It’s alright, don’t be so noisy! Don’t forget where you are!”
As I stood next to the now cool-looking white knight that was Sebas and repeatedly banged on his shoulder without hesitation, I complained about the impending danger before our eyes.
His annoying gaze and call to attention reminded me of my current position. For the time being, I repaired only the surface so as not to upset the soldiers around us, and then called out to him again.
“But they’re almost here.”
Though I might look like this, I still had considerable experience with fighting monsters, thieves, and heretics in Helvetia. I wasn’t just a scared, defenseless girl.
“Well, they’re certainly quite feisty–”
Sebas had to admit that the small number of Spada Troops that was rushing through the middle of the Crusader Army was indeed very powerful. They seemed to be prepared to die fighting.
We had heard rumors about the Spada soldiers having a powerfully dauntless courage, and now they were seeing the living proof of those rumors. It wasn’t only their soldiers, but the adventurers fighting by their side were fighting to the death as well, displaying their tremendous willpower. It made me wish they’d stop doing that.
“It’s only a matter of time before they’re completely wiped out…”
To say that they were completely covered in wounds would have been an understatement. That elf fighting at the vanguard was in a particularly sorry state. It was a rugged elf, unworthy of their usual image of beauty… What have you done to my dreams and fantasies?
His entire body was covered in blood, and his armor, which would have glittered in deep crimson had turned black. His golden shield, which was not just for show, but boasted a tremendous defensive strength worthy of the Armor Knights, had been chipped down by several hits.
Only the bloodstained red spear he kept on brandishing about was still shining in deep crimson, but it didn’t seem it would take more than a few more hits before it would end up shattering.
And so were the few survivors of the famous Spada infantry of Daedalus, who were wearing matching red armor. Even though I had little insight into battle, I could guess that their physical strength and magical power were close to their limits. All they had left was the energy to keep fighting until they dropped dead.
“But that black guy and that huge guy… They still seem quite full of energy. They still kill with great momentum.”
A black-clad swordsman in a black coat, wielding a black sword, and a powerful golem that wielded a buckler and a giant mace with tremendous ease. Those two were breaking through their forces with an outstanding force.
With every swing of the swordsman’s black sword, the head or limbs of the heavy knights were sliced right off, despite being protected by tough armor. And each time the golem pounded with that huge mace, three or four of the infantrymen were sent flying.
They did seem a bit exhausted by the fierce battle, but still, I was worried that could end up reaching where we stood.
I had a bad feeling about this…
“Hey, don’t worry, Rin! I’ll protect you for sure!”
The one to give me such a strong reply wasn’t Sebas. He couldn’t say such straightforward words to me.
A man with red hair stood in front of him. Although his face was only one step behind Sebas’ in terms of beauty, he was a warrior who, combined with his strong body, could be called a handsome and wildly charming man.
Rather than the long spear that was standard equipment for infantry, he carried a spear that was twice as large as those, with a thick, large blade, and a handle that emphasized ease of movement. He wore only a chest and shoulder pieces of armor made of Griffon fur. He seemed rather calm under this cold sky even with his light clothing, which was proof that he had a high affinity with fire attributes. He was a hot-blooded idiot.
“You look so stiff I almost mistook you for a shield!”
“Upfront, aren’t we?”
The name of the one who raised his voice while claiming he would protect me was Jack. He was an eccentric man who, despite not really being a knight, had come all the way from Helvetia as my escort.
As a matter of fact, he was the leader of the bandits who had devastated Helvetia. By my persuasion, rather than by Count Bergund, many of the bandits were returned to the peasantry, but only Jack was hired as my escort because of his high level of skill. Of course, that was not something I had wanted. He was part escort, part stalker. If I refused, I would have been seen as a bad person, so there was not much I could do about it.
Well, he wasn’t as sharp as Sebas, but his fighting ability, which has been against the Helvetian knights almost entirely by himself, was the real deal. His ability was even recognized by Count Bergund. Rather than hiring an inferior knight, we could count on this guy as an escort.
“Ahahaha, we don’t need to rely on someone like you, Jack! I’ll be the one who protects my sis Rin!”
His laughing voice sounded way too childishly out of place for the battlefield. Or perhaps the owner of such a voice was actually a child himself.
When we looked down from his horse, the first thing we saw was the tip of a huge hammer. That sledgehammer, which aimed to crush the enemy with only the hardness and weight of steel, had a somewhat rugged feel to it.
But behind that huge lump of metal block was the face of a lovely boy, which was immensely disproportionate to such a huge hammer. His fluffy blond hair and his big and round eyes sparkled in emerald green. His appearance, which could be easily mistaken for that of a girl, was worthy of being identified as “a beautiful boy with rosy cheeks”.
To make matters worse, his outfit was a fancy white robe with a hood that looked like a cute bears’ face, but with bunny ears. Well, it was something I had bought almost as a joke the moment I saw it at a store in Daedalus.
The fur of such a mysterious monster, like a half-bear-half-rabbit that seemed to be endemic to Pandora, was incredibly fluffy, and it appeared to provide an excellent cold resistance, but wasn’t equipment that Crusader soldiers should be wearing in the least. Even boy soldiers were properly provided with surcoats and chainmail. I didn’t expect him to be able to reach this battlefield in that gear.
That’s why he looked so terribly out of proportion, with such a cute face and outfit, but wielding such a conspicuously rugged sledgehammer.
“Erio, I’m begging you, please be careful! You’ll knock somebody off their feet with that thing.”
This child’s name was Erio.
He wasn’t really my real younger brother, but he surely considered himself our relationship to be fraternal enough, with him calling me “sis Rin” and all that. To put it simply, he was of the orphanage kids I was caring for. He was a super-problem child who caused troubles by behaving like a spoiled brat.
“Ah, but they’re heavy knights, right? They can afford to get hit a little.”
Such things came from his cute little mouth. Even when he asked me cutely, I was sure to be sick of things that don’t work against me. The scariest part of this child was how natural he was about it.
For the time being, I just sighed a little and gave up on telling him off any further. I wasn’t having such a hard time. But he only looked like a good kid.