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Chapter 74

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Soldier Assembly
Claire is trembling in front of me.
If you look closely, her face is also turning pale.

“Claire──”

Ashe-san and the others continue advancing after glancing at me and Claire.
Did they leave us alone after judging the atmosphere?

“…………”

Although Racine stopped for a second, she painfully looked at us and started following Ashe-san and Lil again.

Only me and Claire were left behind.

“It’s a war, huh?”

Claire mutters quietly.

This is probably my first time seeing her like this.
It’s not every day I can see her without her usual unyielding and aggressive personality.

She looks like a small frightened animal──

“Abel…… are you not scared?”

Claire looks with her eyes at me.
Those eyes are faintly wet.

“Until now, I have had actual fighting experience in the knight school, but. That was only exterminating monsters in the dungeon or catching petty thieves──But, the scope is different now. When I think this is a war, I suddenly……”

Claire holds her hand in front of her chest covered by armor and looks down.

Ah, so it wasn’t only me.

Claire too, even Lil was acting differently in front of the headquarters.
Racine is probably the same.
Although I’m not sure about Ashe-san──

Everyone feels anxiety and fear.

(For those in need we brandish our swords and fight──That is a knight.)

I remember Lil’s words from a little while ago.
Everyone surely has their burden──and the resolution to carry that burden on their shoulders.

“You will be alright. In the Eiha village, even in Rashuka City, you fought splendidly.”

Although I say that, those two fights can’t be considered large-scale, as expected, a fight of two『Armies』may be totally different.
But, I deliberately said that.

I gently hold Claire’s hand.

It’s smaller, thinner and softer than expected.
It’s unbelievable that her hand is the hand of the master of Raging Fire Sword style, it looks like the hand of an ordinary young girl.

“I’m also afraid. I’m even slightly shaking. I was anxious a little while at the strategy meeting about what to if I wet myself in front of everyone.”

I joke and laugh at myself.
Claire looks in surprise then lightly laughs.

“…… Sorry, that I showed you such weak myself.”

“No, such fresh Claire may be good sometimes, is what I thought. It makes me want to protect you a little.”

“…… Fool.”

Claire’s cheek became red.

“Ashe-san and the others went ahead, let’s hurry up.”

“Right.”

Claire nods with a sweet smile and moves next to me.
She clung to my arm with a natural movement.

I was hit with the touch of her soft chest.
And a sweet fragrance from her hair and body──

The anxiety from a little ago was blown off with embarrassment.

“Wait, Abel. I forgot one thing.”

Claire says while pulling on my sleeve one more time.

“N?”

Looking back, my vision was filled with Claire’s face.

“…… Mugu!?”

I was instantly robbed of my lips.

“Ehehe, slightly classical, but. It’s a victory charm.”

After exchanging a kiss, Claire’s smiles with a blushing face.
My heart throbs so fast it hurts.

“Thank you, Abel.”

Seeing Claire’s smile, I feel relieved.

It seems I have been feeling strained more than I thought.
And that strain has been removed by the kiss.

“No, I’m also thankful──”

Thank you, Claire.

The first time riding a carriage didn’t shake as much as I thought it would and the journey was comfortable.
I wonder if it perhaps was enchanted with absorption magic?
It felt like riding in a car or a bus.

“What happened to your lips, Abel-kun?”

Ashe-san asks dubiously.

“Eh?”

“You have been touching it since a while ago..”

After being informed, I realized that I have been touching my lips the whole time.
It was a half-unconscious gesture.

The soft, sweet touch still remained there.
I have been immersed in the feeling of the victory charm.

Claire from a little while ago was really cute.
──While remembering,

“No, it’s nothing.”

After saying that, I separate my fingers from my lips.

I saw Claire nearby lowering her bright red face down.
I wonder if she got embarrassed after being reminded about it?

She cuter and cuter.

“…… Hmmmm~?”

Ashe-san smiles meaningfully.
Ah, she probably figured it out.

“…… Mu~”

Racine nearby makes a slightly stern expression.

“Ri, right, was it necessary to use a carriage? Wouldn’t it be faster to move there with flight magic?”

I try to change the mood with a different subject.

“No, it’s best to not unnecessarily use magic before the fight. Your magic power consumption is particularly high Abel-kun, so it wouldn’t be wise to waste it.”

Ashe-san answers right away.

“…… Ah. Certainly.”

I recall running out of gas in Rashuka City.

The enemy’s power is unknown.
Even the exact numbers are unknown.

I should preserve every bit of magic power.

“That…… in the first place, what kind of enemy is the Empire?”

I ask the most fundamental question.

The Empire boasting with the strongest magic in the world.
But, the truth is wrapped in the secret of a veil.

“To be honest ‘An Empire that has no equal in magic’ is what I imagine.”

“That image is too rough, Abel.”

Claire makes fun of me.

“Fufu, that’s so like Abel-sama~”

Racine smiles positively.

“Actually, we don’t know that much about the Empire.”

Ashe-san mischievously smiles.

“Although, Abel-kun’s image is indeed really rough.”

“…… Sorry.”

“No problem. I will explain. About our enemies.”

Magic Empire──

Aggressive against the whole continent in order to achieve their ideal of magicians ruling the world.
To put it plainly “Evil Empire”.

“Ruling that country is our great archenemy who calls himself Magic Emperor.”

“Ah, I thought it sounded excessive, so that’s why……”

I’m glad the question that bugged me for a while was solved.

“Eh, Abel didn’t know?”

Claire says in surprise.

“O, of course, I know. I was just trying to bring a burst of refreshing laughter to this bloodthirsty atmosphere.”

“…… Hmmm?”

Maa, I was definitely found out.

“Can’t be helped, right? Since I left the ignorant village life just a while ago.”

Even in my original world, I was the type who didn’t even glance at news and sports columns in newspapers, I was just watching TV shows and anime……

“I knew it since I was in the village, though? Abel was too busy lifting girls’ skirts after all, huh.”

“I didn’t do anything like that!?”

…… Ah, did I?
The original Able probably did.

“How about you stop the married couple comedy act and let me continue explaining?”

Ashe-san smiles wryly.

“Married couple comedy……”

So this world has a married couple comedy.
I was impressed by the wrong thing.

“M, married couple!? N, no way, Ashe-san…… ufufufu, did we look like that? Eheheee.”

Claire suddenly starts laughing to herself.

“…… Married couple…… Mumumu. I see. It’s good to shorten the distance in an atmosphere like this, I see. That reminds me that Natasha was talking about something like this in her love stories……”

Racine mutters to herself nearby.

“Magic Empire got formed just a few years ago.”

Ashe-san stared at us and continued with her explanation.

It seemed to originally be only a small city on an island, but a few years ago, one magician appeared and just like that──he brought the country under his control.

Then, they invaded the neighboring countries one after another.
In just a few years, it became one of the 6 major powers on the continent──By the way, Aisha Kingdom is one of them──it’s power is so threatening that they became one of the six.

And that is why the leader of this magic army has started calling himself Magic Emperor.

“What kind of person is he, the Emperor?”

“A former member of the Great Magician Union. He was expelled after a certain accident──It’s said that he was praised as the greatest genius while in the union.”

The Great Magician Union is an international organization and almost every magician belongs under that them.
Might as well say, a manager of magicians.

“The Emperor had a kind of charisma in the union. When he was expelled, many great magicians started leaving one after another. It was a group of the magicians who left the union with the Emperor who formed the Empire.”

Ashe-san says.

“They all were elite magicians from all around the world──The best of the best.”

In short, they are an army of all-star magicians.

The battle against the Empire feels like Japanese representatives vs. the World selection in sports.
Besides the difference in ability, they even have the numbers.

Approximately 100 magicians are affiliated with the Aisha Kingdom.
Even among the six major powers, the prosperous Lungaria Kingdom has only around 300 magicians.

It’s said that the Empire has around 500-1000 magicians.
Indeed, an overwhelming difference in military strength.

Chances to win──are there any?

“Therefore, we have to make perfect preparations.”

Ashe-san takes out something from the back of her seat.
A stick approximately one meter in length with many decorations.

“Ashe-san, that is?”

“A booster rod. It’s prototype used only by the third corps, a magic tool artifact manufactured by Veronica.”

Ashe-san stares at the staff.

“I also have one.”

Lil takes out a similar staff.

“Veronica-san and Dita-chan also have them. Because Dita-chan is a dragon knight she can handle magic attacks too, but…… Right now, because it’s a prototype, only all assault-type magicians have them.”

I see, all assault-type magicians.
…… N?

“I, don’t have anything like that……?”

I’m also an assault-type magician, though.

“She apparently didn’t have enough materials, so she could make them for everyone.”

Ashe-san apologetically explains.
Ah, I wanted to try using one.

“As expected, aside from the usual times, Veronica abandons personal feelings in times of war.”

Doesn’t that basically mean, if it’s not the worst situation, I won’t be able to get one……?

“In the first place, Abel-kun’s magic power is on a different scale compared to us. If the staff is not specially made, it wouldn’t be able to withstand your magic.”

“At least, our staves would definitely break if you use them. They probably wouldn’t be able to withstand even one shot.”

Says Lil.

I see, these staves won’t work with me.
I’m certain that if it indeed amplifies magic, no matter who my opponent is I would defeat them in one hit, though──

After approximately two hours, we have arrived at Aisha’s Beryl Beach.
Other corps seem to be arriving as well, two carriages come beside ours.

“Yo, we meet again.”

“We will be relying on you today, rookie.”

“With you here, we can feel relieved.”

A group of three tall, rough guys approached us.

“Umm……”

I recognize these men from somewhere.

“…… I hope you have not forgotten about us again.”

Three people frown at me.

Ah, right.
The ones I met during the Giira battle──

“Four…… Lemon Yellow stars?”

“Three White Stars, Three White Stars!”

“Didn’t you completely change the color!?”

“Also, the number of people increased by one!”

They retort simultaneously.
──It wasn’t only them that have appeared.

“You are here, Third corps.”

A group dressed in knight clothes approach from the other direction.

A total of seven people, the girls in their teens I have met before.
Probably the seventh corps.

“Hmm, that child is the rumored……”

A captain-ish knight in knight clothes looks at me with interest.

Short black hair with clever looks, a beauty of unknown age.
She may be in her late twenties or even in her forties.

If this was Japan, she would be most likely called a bimajo1.

“I see. Still have a way to go, but indeed, a quite nice raw material. I would like you in my unit by all means.”

Bimajo-san captain licks her lips.
The saliva on her wet pink tongue is strangely erotic.

“How about it? If you come to our unit, I will teach you step by step about magic and anything else you want to know.”

While saying that, bimajo shakes with her abundant chest from side to side.

What is this, what is that!?

I unintentionally swallow my saliva and stare at her.

Her curvy body line and her boobs shaking side to side in her knight clothes are too seductive.
Her tights extending from the miniskirt are sexy.

A dizzying charm.

“Stop tempting our cute member, Captain Beatrice.”

Ashe-san stands in front of me and gives out a warning.
The Captain Beatrice-san without being shaken,

“Oh my, do you think a lass in her twenties like you could satisfy him? An adult-like me will certainly make him into a genuine man and a knight, fufu.”

Ashe-san, a lass…? This person, just how old is she?

“Captain really loves young men…… excuse her.”

One of the female knights from the Seventh corps apologizes.

“But, it’s the truth that she wants you in our unit.”

“With a strong magician as yourself, our Seventh corps will become definitely the strongest unit.”

The other female knights surround me and start chattering.
I have a feeling something like this has happened before……

“Ohh, our Fourth corps will welcome you anytime, you know?”

“If you join us, we could rename to Four White Stars.”

“If you want, we can even go with the Lemon Yellow.”

No, there’s no need for the Lemon Yellow.
Although it’s me who said that first.

Ashe-san breaks the friendly atmosphere.

“The fun talk ends here──They are here.”

It was the Empire’s invasion army.

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