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Rapid Approach to The Front Line
“Anyway, lunch has arrived, so we’re going to eat a little early.”
At that moment, Garnet’s voice echoed from the store.
“White Wolf! Golden Fangs has an urgent matter to attend to!”
“What? Hang on, I’m coming back!”
I quickly snapped back on my heels and turned back toward the store.
Noire followed, almost falling, and arrived at the store almost at the same time.
“Thank you for waiting. What can I do for you?”
There was one man there, wearing the uniform of the Golden Fang Knights.
It’s a face I’ve seen several times while working in the Castle Realm.
“This is an urgent [Repair] request. I need you to come with me to the [Demon King Territory] right now.”
“As usual, I don’t suppose you can give me the details?”
“I’m sorry, but this is related to an ongoing operation. I can’t tell you about it here.”
Most of the requests that come in from the Knights are like this.
Not only were the requests made to the White Wolf Shop, but similar requests were made through to the Adventurer’s Guild.
Basically, all requests accepted by guild branches and guild houses are opened to the public, before recruiting contractors.
This reflects the Adventurer’s Guild’s policy of not accepting antisocial requests that cannot be disclosed to the public.
However, as a special exception, the Knights and the Royal Court were allowed to keep their work completely secret – on the condition that they provide various benefits to the Adventurer’s Guild.
Anyway, they seem to be extremely wary of leaking information about their military operations to the outside world.
“I don’t have a choice. I understand.”
At least, every job the Golden Fang Knights has offered me so far has been of high importance.
I have a certain level of trust that it is impossible for me to go there and find out that it was just a crappy job.
— but they have never asked me to come right now during business hours.
Normally, we were approached days in advance, and we could afford to make adjustments, such as setting up a temporary closing day or shifting our schedule to a regular holiday.
On the other hand, this is a genuine emergency situation.
“All right, Garnet. Can you take care of the store for me?”
“Wait, White Wolf.”
Garnet grabbed me by the shoulders, pulled me close, and put her mouth to my ear with such force that we were almost in close contact.
“Don’t forget. My original mission is to protect you. I can’t compromise that, no matter what. Let someone else take care of the store.”
In a voice loud enough for no one but me to hear, but clear and unambiguous, Garnet refused to do anything other than accompany me.
Her face was serious, and I could not feel any unnecessary emotion on it.
“I’m sorry, but I think it’s too early to put Noire in charge of the store.”
Garnet was a knight sent by the Silver Wing Knights to guard me.
It was only natural that the escort mission would take precedence over the work of the employees.
Then there is only one option left.
“Hey, guys! Sorry, we’re closing for the day! And don’t worry, we’ll pay you in full for today!”
While notifying the visitors and short-term adventurers that the store was closing, I picked up my luggage and lunch basket from behind the counter and prepared to leave.
Right now, the store can’t run without me or Garnett.
Then the best option would be to close the store.
“Today’s loss will be charged to the Knights.”
“Yes. We’ve taken that into account in our compensation budget.”
After letting Sylvia and the adventurers leave, I left the store with Garnet.
Then Noire came after us, carrying her personal bag, too.
“I’m coming with you.”
“We are in a hurry. Make sure you keep up.”
We descended the Sundial Forest in a hurry as I had declared, entered the Hollow Bottom Fortress, passed through the Dragon’s Loophole, and reached the [Demon King’s Territory] as quickly as possible.
I decided to eat the bread with ingredients that Sylvia had brought for me while moving.
“I, as an adventurer, and Garnet, as a knight, were used to that kind of reckless eating, but Noire seemed to be doing her best to do both at the same time.”
“Actually, it’s the suspension bridge that I want you to [Repair].”
As we were passing through the underground side of the fortress, the knight who was guiding us finally began to explain the request.
Around that time, several knights and soldiers joined the group, and the accompanying group expanded to a small unit-sized group.
“You may know that the rocky mountainous area of the [Demon King’s Territory] is divided into two by a ravine. The other day, we built a suspension bridge across the ravine and constructed a camp on the other side.”
“The other side of the river is under the control of the demons, right? Is it a frontline base to control the mines?”
I don’t know what they’re mining in that mine, but I’m sure it’s a source of useful resources for the Demon King.
It would be a natural decision to select it as a target for suppression.
“But the demons took us by surprise and brought down the suspension bridge, isolating the camp on the other side of the river.”
“…That isolated position is under attack, you say?”
“Thank you for your understanding so quickly. If we don’t restore the suspension bridge and send help as soon as possible, they will definitely get wiped out.”
Even though I’m not a military professional, I can easily imagine the threat of a siege after cutting off the route of retreat and reinforcements.
We left the Hollow Bottom fortress and continued to hurry towards our destination on a sketchy path through the rocky mountains.
On the way, Noire took a set of amulets and scrolls from her bag and handed them to me.
“Thank you. I’d prefer not to have to use it if I can help it.”
As I ran, I attached the amulet to my waist and screwed the scroll into my pouch.
If I use it, it means that I am in a situation where I am exposed to some kind of harmful intereference and I have to fight back with my own hands.
……No, I shouldn’t take it for granted that I won’t have to use it this time.
The demons are as intelligent as humans, and the Demon King’s army is made up of such people.
If their strategy is to destroy the bridge to divide and attack the enemy forces, they should have assumed that we will try to repair the bridge and go for support.
I should be prepared for the possibility of being exposed to attacks from the Demon King’s army, either during or after using [Repair].
“Don’t worry, Mister Luke. I’ve requested the cooperation of high-ranked adventurers this time. We are fully prepared for any interference from the Demon King’s army.”
“I hope so.”
The Demon King’s army has probably factored in the fact that there are high-ranked adventurers present, and this knight probably doesn’t really think it’s absolutely safe.
He must have thought I was getting anxious and was just trying to reassure me.
“I see it! That’s the suspension bridge we’re looking for!”
Nervous about the rapid approach to the front line, I looked at the point where the knight accompanying me was pointing.