From his office, Theodour was checking the situation outside with his eye glass.
In case the little boat the envoys were at didn´t come back, he would have needed to immediately mobilize the fleet. But it seems there was nothing to be worried about. The little boat was safely returning to Sherr island together with the four merchant ships. Looking at it with his eye glass, he could confirm that on the little boat that was guiding the merchant ships, the two of his soldiers were embarking it. He couldn´t see their faces well, but they were wearing the uniform of the Sherr island. In other words, the four merchant ships weren´t hostile. Theodour let out a sigh of relief.
“…So in the end, it was the truth.”
While feeling embarrassed for being too suspicious, he started to think about what he should do after they landed. There was no way he could send them away right after letting them stay. He had many things to talk with them, such as how much is the time they are planning on staying, how much food they need and if they have anything else they need them to help with.
“Really, now to go talk with them … Haa…”
Theodour decided that for now, he should start by changing his clothes.
While having his back facing the window, he headed to the changing room. Since he was going to talk with them, he needed to wear clothes fitting the head of the temple, especially since the ones he will be talking to are merchants, who would be carrying merchandise on their ships. It was because they were merchants that ran away from the demons that he couldn´t let them look down on him. No matter how well he handled the conversation, if there was any single disorder with his clothes, it was possible the merchant would look down on him. There was a possibility he would have a long lasting relationship hereafter. Since in this situation, they were merchants that ran away after being attacked by demons, there were chances of him succeeding in doing that. Looking at the bigger picture, there was no way he could let himself be depreciated in their first impressions of him.
However… If he was to keep watching the ships for a bit longer, perhaps, the following events could have been different.
But to keep being troubled over the possibilities is of no use after all. By the time Theodour noticed all the commotion, it all had already been too late. Right at the moment he was looking at the mirror adjusting the collar of his uniform and putting his hair in order, a subordinate of his rushed inside the room with a force that was as if he had tore the door down. Theodour let out a tired sigh.
“What´s the matter? My hair got messed. Even though I will have a meeting soon….”
“It´s not the time to be saying that! We have been tricked. The merchant ship had demons on it!!”
Theodour stopped the hand that was tying his necktie.
At first, he couldn´t understand the report given by his subordinate. Until the last part of the report, word by word, could finally permeate into his mind, a bit of time had passed. But once he could understand the meaning of those words, he snorted, denying the possibility.
“What a stupid thing… Didn´t they have the bill?”
“N-no. Actually, they killed the envoys that went there and exchanged places with them.”
“…It can´t be possible.”
Theodour hurried to his office.
Looking through the window, he saw the port he had already become familiar to dyed in blood. Unfortunately, most of the ones dead at the port were the temple soldiers. Many demons were approaching the temple while swinging their swords or spears. Theodour weakly crumbled down to the floor.
“Ho-ho-how… This is impossible.”
Before he could send his prided fleet, the demons had already landed at the island.
The soldiers that were completely unprepared for battle looked as if they were being trampled down by the demons. That was specially for the red haired demon leading them; it was cutting down the spiritualists more cheerfully than any of them. Even by looking from the distance, it was possible to see it cutting about ten people with only one swing of its halberd. Looking at the red haired demon that was acting insane, a chill passed through him and he started to tremble. He could not win against that red haired demon. He knew this not by logic, but by instinct.
“Thi-this… Perhaps it might be better if we surrender.”
Before he could notice, those kind of words were already leaving his mouth.
More than the importance of such a thing as the honor of the spiritualists, his own life was far-off much more important. And so, it was better if he surrendered now so that he could prolong his life even if it is by only one hour, and then wait for a chance to run away. However, the one thinking that was only Theodour.
“What are you saying!? Shouldn´t we properly go fight them?”
It seems Theodour´s subordinate intended to resist to the bitter end.
His subordinate was showing surprised expression for the opposition of Theodour, who had already given up.
“Even without fighting, it is obvious. Look at that. That red haired is killing ten men with a single swing. If it was a naval battle, it would be another story, but there is no way we can win against that monster on land!”
“Aren´t there a great number of spiritualists in this temple? Now is the time to use them!”
“Foolishness. Are you saying we should make the prisoners go fight?”
Theodour started to tremble violently with his subordinate´s declaration. Indeed, there is hope for winning if they used the spiritualists imprisoned here. One way or another, they were spiritualists that had been accumulating training in a daily basis. Naturally, rather than actual practicing, most of the spiritualists were developing their knowledge about demon banning techniques. However, there were also spiritualists that were very experienced in combating demons. If they were to use those well, perhaps they could win.
But even so, Theodour couldn´t decide himself.
“Bu, but… Is it really fine to use the prisoners?”
“If you don´t use it now, when will you be using?”
“U, umumu.”( う、うむむ) (TL note: I guess he is saying yes? .-.)
There was no more time left. The savage demons were coming towards the temple at the moment. Twisting his face, he tiredly gave his order.
“…Then, you go select the people you want from the prisoners. And also, you should take the role of leading them in the fight.”
With his subordinate giving a short response, he left the room like the wind.
In the office, only Theodour remained. By himself, he was thinking. He had absolute trust in his subordinate, but he didn´t think it would really go that well easily. There were many people with great demon banning powers among the prisoners, but they were out of practice for a long time. Using them to clash with the elite-picked demons that were now fighting down there, he couldn´t imagine it was possible for them to smoothly be able to win the battle.
“Mumumu… What am I supposed to do….”( むむむ)
He wanted to believe his subordinate would win, but he also needed to consider him losing.
If they were to be defeated, even if he was to implore the demons, their impression of him would only worsen. If it was to become like that, the neck of their enemy´s general, which was himself, would be in danger. By any means, he needed to think of a way for him to save his own life.
“…Should I give them the treasure that had been handed down for generations at this temple… No, no, I can´t imagine them as people that would pull back just by giving something like a treasure. Maybe serving them with food, having them become drunk? …No, the demons would be vigilant about the food. It would be a problem if this would make them think there is poison in the food. Umumu… Then, as expected, should we entertain them with music or dances? Hm? Music?”
At this moment, in Theodour´s mind, a great idea shone. Unconsciously, he smirked.
“That´s right, there was. Alright, let´s go with that.”
Theodour was cheerfully smiling. They would definitely be vigilant with food in middle of the battlefield. There was also the possibility of them being cautious of the movements during the dances. But if it was a musical performance, they wouldn´t be vigilant, thinking he was plotting something. Rather than relying on that uncertain battle, he was now confined into accomplishing a plan the enemy would never think of.
Theodour arranged the preparations to have a certain person called.
How many people had she killed?
While rotating her halberd, she suddenly thought about that.
Since Riku had successfully landed at Sherr island, she had been swinging her halberd all the time. However, all the people coming to stop her were all so weak to the point of being depressing. Compared to the spiritualists of the fights at Myuuz and Karkata, they were so weak Riku was getting bored of them. While running in the direction of the temple, bored, Riku used her halberd to mow down the spiritualists. In less than a second, she had opened the bellies of about ten spiritualists, making their healthy looking organs fly out to the floor. But she didn´t particularly pay mind to that. While avoiding the filth that came out from them, she went forward.
“Ojou-chan, don´t go act like all this is boring!”
Rebuking Riku, who was acting like that, Vrusto shouted from behind. However, the enthusiasm in his face was also not much. It seems that he was also bored with how only small fries were coming. He looked as if he was swinging his sword without any emotions in particular. Riku snorted.
“Although second lieutenant Vrusto is also bored?”
“That´s because I´ve been forced to be at the interior of that ship all the time because of my face. And then, when I finally thought I could go fight, there were only weaklings.
No matter how one would look at it or from what angle, Vrusto´s face was the hairy face of a wolf. Even if he covered his face with bandages or a hat so that he wouldn´t stand out, it was absolutely impossible to see him as a human. No matter the great efforts, it was impossible. And so, it was better for him to stay hidden in one of the rooms of the ship until they landed at the island. And so, since they had departed from Fert, he had been shut inside a room.
“But, just because I said that, it doesn´t mean it is fine to put up this bored face. If you let your guard down, you will get in trouble, alright? …See. Just as I was speaking, reinforcements from mister enemy came. Ojou-chan, look ahead.”
Without needing Vrusto to say anything about it, the front was starting to get noisy. From the direction of the temple, many spiritualists advanced towards them while raising their voices. It was as if a huge wave was approaching. Their numbers weren´t that great, but because each of them were overflowing with desire, they could be seen in a significant way. With their eyes shining in blaze, it couldn´t be thought that they would be pulling back at all. The charging spiritualists were giving off a strong feeling that they would battle to the end until they won.
“Oh, finally people that seem to have spirit appeared.”
Riku licked her lips.
It was as if… As if she was now about to go gauge their quality.