“Then you should work even harder to protect that person, huh?”
“Yep, I will definitely protect them.”
I could finally think of Farkius’ smile as beautiful as he answered reassuringly. Fighting for love—that’s quite a cool motive.
“Kurono, the Crusaders’ army has become visible.”
As I quietly turned to face towards the direction Fiona had pointed, I could definitely spot the large white army closing in.
Thinking that it’s finally time, I let Lily down and stood facing the enemy as they marched with momentum. And the Spada army lined up here was also making a small commotion seeing the enemy right in front.
“…They really are removing the snow with Doltos.”
After they came this close, finally the rumored Doltos could be seen.
The Doltos looked like a white bulldozer. They were easily pushing aside the piled up snow on the mountain road and were slowly making their way here.
With the help of modding, I could see their soldiers on top of mammoths even without a strengthening magic on my eyes.
Their white robes with hoods on looked somewhat different from the Crusader soldiers I remember. They are probably the monster-users of the Crusader army. I guess calling them ‘tamer’ would be more appropriate, seeing how they are handling the monster as is without summoning.
Behind the forceful Doltos squad was the fire magician squad, wearing red robes. Although they weren’t using powerful flame magic from their staff, they were probably using heat magic to melt the snow.
Strangely enough, the snow pushed aside by the Doltos was not piling up. By melting the snow which was pushed aside, they were getting rid of the obstacle.
And behind them were the unpleasant white troops which we faced half a year ago on Alsace’s river beach.
Even today, they had numerous flags with the cross, fluttering in the strong wind. Underneath those flags were the troops wearing white surcoats, equipped with long spears. They looked like white ants from here, making me want to instantly crush them.
“Hmm, that’s weird. This is different from what I heard.”
While I glared at them with bloodlust, Farkius said in a somewhat stale voice.
When I looked at him with a side glance, his beautiful face had a wry expression on, looking like he as if he was drafting up a plan or something. It doesn’t seem like he was overwhelmed by the Crusaders’ numbers.
“What is it?”
“I had heard that the Crusaders’ was formed with only humans but—”
The source of that info is me. To be more precise, the Element Masters and Shimon—the survivors of Daidaros.
Well, the Spada army has also researched on the Crusaders as they built a nest in Daidaros. And of course, naturally, all the Spada soldiers including the adventurers were told that the Crusaders consisted only of humans.
“The ones lined up there aren’t human, no matter how I look at it.”
Farkius was pointing at ‘them’.
A squad line, similar to the familiar Crusader squad.
They were wearing similar robes as the Tamers and when looked closely, their sizes differed from the human soldiers who were beside them.
Especially the cyclops, golems, minotaurs’ big bodies stood out. If one pays attention, they can notice the goblins’ small bodies mixed with them as well.
“….What, are they…”
Even I, who had fought with the Crusaders before, could not understand right away.
This is weird. To them, who believe in the Cross, think that any race other than human is demonic. There’s no way they can be joining the fight as fellow Crusaders. In the first place, there shouldn’t be any other races in Sinclair republic.
However, it was Farkius himself who easily gave an answer to this rising doubt.
“Hmm, there’s no doubt about it. They are people from Daidaros.”
Before I could ask ‘what do you mean?’, Fiona answered this time.
“Kurono-san, they are probably war slaves.”
“Don’t tell me, they are enlisting the people of Daidaros and are going to use them as meat shields?!”
“If it was a priest, they would never walk alongside demons but… if they are lead by Sinclair’s nobles, then it is possible.”
It is said the war slave system was frequently seen in use by the Sinclair republic when they were subjugating the west half of Ark continent.
In short, it’s a system where they make the believers of a different religion into war slaves and use them as disposable force.
Their logic is that they are doing what must be done to bring the heretics to the right religion.
A shitty logic.
And because of that, the heretics were called ‘second class citizens’ and were clearly treated as lower beings.
“Even though they are demons, they can be understood. And so, they are probably using them in the same way as they used the heretics.”
In other words, they are using the demons’ families or something as hostage to make them participate in the war. Although words have no meaning towards a wild monster, they do work against demons who understand human language. And so they can be threatened similarly as well.
Fiona continued, saying that if it’s the Sinclair nobles who have fought against the heretics, they are probably well aware of that method.
“Wait, then, we are—”
“Yes, we will probably have to fight against the sacrificial war slaves—the Daidaros people who have become slaves.”
A particularly strong wind blew across the valley. And with that sudden gust, the white robes of the war slaves were taken off.
And what lied there was a strong-faced orc and a lizardman. And as I thought, the small shadows belonged to the goblins.
Elf or dwarf—being which are more similar to humans couldn’t be seen. I can’t help but think that the races which are further away from humans were intentionally picked.
“D-don’t joke around with me… I.. I have come this far, to kill the Crusaders…”
Why do I have to fight against the people of Daidaros who have done nothing wrong? For what purpose am I dying my hand with blood then?
“No, Kurono. They are also ‘Crusaders’.”
Fiona declared, looking into my face. There was no hesitation in her golden eyes.
“….Kurono, here they come.”
Lily said with an expressionless face, again standing on the castle wall edge. Sound of trumpets came along a gust of wind from underneath. In front of me, the Crusaders slowly marched forward, making high-pitched noises with their trumpets.
Although it is quite a spectacle—seeing countless people wriggling just below, I felt a chill run down my spine as the war slaves were pushed forward.
Their white robes looked like prison uniform. They are slaves, criminals who might rebel. And as such, they were probably not given any weapon. They didn’t have any sword or spear with them—not even a small knife.
Instead, what they were given was a large ladder to climb the 15 meter castle wall. The reason why they were also carrying fat pillars and large boulders was probably to use them as a base for the ladder.
The defenseless war slaves were put up against the impregnable Galahad fort.
And then, suddenly, the trumpet was blown, indicating the signal to ‘charge’.
And like this, the fight had started.
Month of Gloom, day 16. Early morning. 5th Galahad war—begins.