62 – Resumption of the encampment defensive battle
“We’ve seen the enemy reinforcements from one of our watchtowers! Everyone, to your stations, quickly!”
–The sound of the loud reverberating horn informed the end of the rest time.
“I’ll join the defense line in front of the gate. Mr. Luke, be careful as well.”
“Yeah, I’ll see you later.”
I said as I saw Sakura go off to her post.
Unlike me, Sakura has joined this fight purely as a combatant.
Her skills are also composed in such a way that she is suited for battle so this basically what one would call the right person in the right place.
“Even so, Nagi—was he seriously trying to convince you?”
Garnet casually asked while we were on the way to the first standby post.
Garnet and Noire are with me thanks to Supervisor Dwight even though I am in charge of repairs.
That said, Garnet was going to accompany me as my guard anyway.
“Of course one would listen to their old friend rather than someone who suddenly appeared and said stuff like ‘that is dangerous’ or “don’t do that “”.
“Probably to… give an excuse like, “don’t say I didn’t warn you”, in the case something happens…”
“Then I’ll put my money on him being socially awkward. What ‘bout you?”
“Betting money… is not… good…”
“I mean, I am not going to bet anything valuable. Just something as a joke.”
Even while having such a casual conversation, Garnet had his gaze set on top of the protective walls without letting his guard down.
He was focused enough to even counter a surprise attack.
It may seem like idle gossip at a glance but he might actually be trying to ease the atmosphere thinking Noire is nervous.
Noire is certainly timid and shy.
However, she also has the determination to challenge the demon lord as a member of the hero party.
Even if Garnet is actually worrying about Noire, that’s probably needless worry.
“What do you think about the White Wolf?”
“Don’t know… It’s not like humans can always come up with a perfect response. Sakura and I also blundered a few times during the last conversation.”
The problem with Nagi’s claim is exactly as Garnet pointed out.
While his advice is based on the reality of things, it is difficult to properly take it into account.
After all, even after getting warned twice, I have not changed my mind.
Sakura’s blunder was that she took on Nagi’s argument in the first place.
It might’ve been hard for her personality wise but in hindsight it would have been best to just lightly ward off his comments.
And I should’ve firmly told Nagi that we can’t really take his advice to heart all of a sudden like that.
Despite Melissa’s intervention in the middle, I had enough time to say that before leaving.
And to just add on to that, Melissa barging in like that without reading the atmosphere is also a problem.
Although she probably couldn’t grasp what was going around her since she was too happy and couldn’t control her emotions, it might’ve led to unnecessary trouble if the other party wasn’t us.
“…More importantly, it seems like the demon lord’s imperial guards have finally arrived.”
The rumbling in the earth slowly grew stronger.
The demon lord’s army was closing in on the encampment.
Mankind’s reinforcements were getting close to the Hollowbottom fort as well but surely the demon lord’s army is aware of that as well.
Our winning condition is to either ward off the enemy army or last till the reinforcements arrive.
Their condition to win is just the opposite–destroy our base before the reinforcements arrive.
I don’t know yet if this is advantageous or not for us but either way, this decisive battle should only last for a brief duration.
“Here they come…!”
The rumbling settled down abruptly and after a moment of stillness, an arc of arrows and enemy magic rained down from over the protective walls.
And at the same time, our side’s defense also began intercepting them.
Most of the attack was warded off by a defensive magical wall deployed by a few personnels and the rest of the attack was intercepted with our magic attacks.
It seemed like Melissa’s anxiety was dispelled after seeing Nagi safe, considering her magic’s precision had increased more than the fight on the suspension bridge.
“…Even, I… can…!”
Noire also activated her magic, manifesting jack-o’-lantern-like flame in the surroundings.
Her flames flew up into the sky on her signal and exploded on contact with the enemy magic.
The magic attacks these defensive nets could not defend destroyed the camp’s facilities.
Needless to say, these arrows aren’t your usual arrows–upon impact, they released magic and dealt damage to the camp.
And this is where my work begins.
With the order of precedence I was informed of in mind, I went around the camp and kept repairing the damaged facilities one after another.
Of course, I did all this while repairing the protective walls simultaneously as well.
Upon calls, I quickly made my way towards the walls and repaired the damage from the inside.
–If there’s anything that’s worth worrying about in this strategy, it would be my stamina.
“Haa, ha… Damn, I suppose I’ve grown weaker, huh…?”
I cursed at myself as I tried desperately to catch my breath.
My stamina had clearly dwindled compared to the time I was active as an adventurer.
I can think of a few reasons why.
The extreme situation that unfolded after being deserted by the hero’s party in the depths of the labyrinth had frankly weakened my body.
Moreover, after that, I didn’t wait for a complete recovery before quitting being an adventurer and shifting to opening a weapon’s store. Since then, I’ve been devoted to that work, after all.
Ah, right. No matter how you think of it, there’s no way I can hope to be at my prime.
“Shall I carry you on my back if it’s too hard?”
I mustered up my spirit after Garnet’s instigation.
I’m not the only one at the brink of my stamina.
Even now, Sakura and Nagi are fighting hand-to-hand outside the walls.
There’s no way I can throw in the towel alone like this.
And so, just when I was about to move to the next repair point, a thundering sound echoed from an unexpected direction.
A hole had been made on the left wall to the main gate.
Not just me, everyone was at a loss for words at the situation.
It’s not like we weren’t expecting a flank.
Magic was also used on top of people for visuals to care for flanks.
If there was anyone trying to go around for a flank, the squad outside or the personnel on top of the walls would notice.
They had passed through a full-on alert net–that’s what was the most shocking to everyone.
However, we could only be still with shock for a moment.
Garnet and I quickly changed course towards that wall.
The grotesque-human-like figures started invading into the base through the hole in the wall.
Golem––no, a bit different than that. Maybe calling those similar to clay figures would be more appropriate.
These figures–as if made with clay, mud and sand on top–were coming in with stiff movements like a marionette.
And not only one or two of these–there were dozens of them.
The scene made me unconsciously want to look away but I can’t afford to flinch here.
And just about when we were about to reach there–
“Stand back. I’ll exterminate them.”
And with such a calm and collected voice, the clay-like figures were blown away.
Leaving a flash of lightning to be seen, something soared in–breaking, piercing, tearing and destroying the figures.
Standing atop the remains of the clay-like figures was Dustin, who had returned inside the base.