Chapter 16

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Side story: At the End of the Road… (1)
“Gyaaaaaaaaaa!!”
“Waaaaaaghh!”
“Save meeeee!”

Many people were running away in the midst of screaming and spraying of blood. The army which has been ordered to enter a formation just a short time ago is now losing control without a shadow of regulation.
An army without regulation is nothing more than prey. No matter how strong an individual’s bravery is, it’s not possible to exert power in the situation this chaotic.

“What the hell is that!!”

One of the knights shouted out loud. Suddenly, giant knights carrying a great sword appeared and started tyrannically cutting down people. It was a one-sided massacre and not a battle, many comrades in war were mercilessly slaughtered by the monsters.

“Move it!!”
“Me first!”
“Don’t get in my way!!”

The loud shouts weren’t war cries, but voices trying to escape. Those who tried to fight were quickly reminded of their naiveness.
The shields blocking the knights’ great swords were quickly broken and the people holding them bisected. There’s no way that they could fight such otherworldly monsters. Those whose minds were broken started fleeing.
The army that totally lost control fell apart as the soldiers started running away, however, the chaos was immense with 200,000 people involved.

(As if I would die in a place like this! I am leaving!!)

The face of the knight’s beloved wife came to his mind. He participated in the Salbuveir fief’s subjugation two months ago and finally gotten permission to marry because of his achievements.
Despite his achievements, he did not defeat any mighty generals as most people he mercilessly cut down, from behind at that, were fleeing fugitives. Even so, his achievements of killing many enemies of the country were highly valued.
Killing one’s own countrymen couldn’t be called achievement, but the prosperous Salbuveir territory was always a subject of people’s envy.
In fact, the Salbuveir fief was prosperous because of the Marquis’s governing, and the great effort of the citizens, but these affairs weren’t transmitted to the rest of the territories. There were feelings resembling resentment in the armies of other territories.

“Kill them!!”
“Show no mercy”
“Make them realize our resentment!!”

A voice resounded in the knight’s ears, not the feeling voices, but a voice of slaughter. When the soldier looked where the voices were coming from, he saw soldiers killing those who were fleeing.
The soldiers were raising a bloodbath with actions that had no wasteful movements.

(Wha… what are those guys? Do people that strong really exist…)

The knight was tongue-tied from the skill displayed by the soldiers. The knight’s eyes weren’t fast enough to follow the slashing attacks of the soldiers. The soldiers he saw were strong enough for the first and second strongest on the battlefield. The knight judged that they were skilled enough to fight with those Death Knights.

(I will be definitely killed if I fight those guys.)

The knight decided to flee the chaotic battlefield through the confused soldiers. He judged that way to have the highest survival rate.
His plan worked, and the knight managed to escape safely from the battlefield.

However, those who had escaped the battlefield would never feel at ease.

—————

Ten days after fleeing the battlefield, the knight finally reached the town where his family lived. While escaping, many fell victim to the blades of the Death Knights and couldn’t return to their homes.
The knight managed to survive the harsh retreat, although his expression was telling of the hell he experienced. Those who were killed by the Death Knights during the retreat well exceeded 50,000. No survivors were left intact.

The knight continued running even when he heard pleading for help from behind as he decided to filter those voices from his ears.

“I’m glad…”

When the knight saw the lights of the town, he exhaled words of relief. Somewhere deep inside his heart, he had a doubt whether those knights already trampled upon his hometown.

The knight mustered the rest of his strength and hurried towards the town. However, while on the road, he started noticing something. The gate which was the core of the protection of the town was greatly damaged.

“That… can’t be…”

He frantically denied his uneasiness and hurried inside.

(Sherry… please be safe!!)

The knight’s feet were getting faster as he called the name of his wife over and over again. Several soldiers were guarding the gate.

“I beg you, let me in!!”

The knight begged the soldiers. The soldiers were startled for a moment, but they immediately dropped their vigilance when they recognized the knight’s face.

“Haggol-sama, why do you look…?”

The bewildered voices of the soldiers were extremely pleasant to hear for the knight. The fact that they did not know the situation meant that those Death Knights did not show here yet. The town would be already destroyed if those knights showed up, but the town seems to be safe as the soldiers weren’t aware of the circumstances.

“The battle was a great loss. I honestly don’t know what had become of everyone. However, we have to hold a conference to come up with countermeasures immediately. There’s a lot to talk about, so please let me through!”

The soldiers exchanged glances after hearing the knight’s explanation. There was a fixed passage time, and the soldiers seemed puzzled because that time had already passed.

“I understand how you feel about breaking rules. But, consider this a race against time!!”
“… I understand. Oi.”

When the soldier signaled another soldier, the gate opened.

“You have my gratitude!”

The knight rushed into the town the moment the gate started opening. One of the soldiers who saw him rush off muttered to himself.

“Please forgive me… I had no choice.”

A black mist rose from the soldiers’ bodies.

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