A great number of arrows poured down upon the four ships.
It was a rain of arrows empowered with demon banning power. While closing in the enemy ships as to surround them, without giving them any chances of fighting back, they continued their attack. Over the sea, the sounds of the arrows cutting through the air and hitting the ships reverberated.
If the spiritualists were the one receiving that focused fire, they wouldn´t be able to endure. Even if the demons wanted to get away from that place, out of the ship, all there would be was obviously going to be sea. Even if they wanted to run away by swimming, it would be distant to get to Sherr island, and would at most take three days swimming without rests, thus it being impossible.
Besides, even if there were demons adapted to the sea, the result would still be obvious. Just as they would jump to the sea, they would be shot at.
Even if they were to fight to their end, it was hell. Even if they were to try run away, it also was hell.
Regardless on which of the two they would end up at, there was no future for the demons.
“That´s right, scream more!”
As if he had gone mad, he kept shooting arrows. Many times, he would aim at those demons that were standing like poles.
May them raise more and more screams and try to run for their life. May they become desperate and try to resist to death. Rather, he wanted them to do so; when they would try come fight back, he would instead kill them all. This was going to be their deserved punishment. It was the retribution for killing the lofty Selestinna, the young Rebecca, the earnest Kurumi and the devoted Mary. While shouting, saying the demons may go regret their actions after dying, he drew his bow.
“Fight back, hey. Come, attack us! I will completely destroy all your hope!”
He was completely being carried by his anger. Once their ship closed their distance to them, they would board at his ship. And then, he would cut them one by one. He wished for them to come soon, or then to end up being annihilated by the arrows.
Rook started to feel angry at the demons that wouldn´t come attack. But suddenly, he felt a bad feeling. With how the demons weren´t coming attack them, perhaps it was because they had no way to deal with the fierce arrow shower. The demons being encircled by all the sides; there were no gaps to escape through. Maybe, with no food to sustain the soldiers, rather than having the soldiers being gradually weakened, they launched an attack. In that case, it would have been fine for them to keep attacking for a little bit longer. But despite that, they didn´t attack them. Instead, it felt as if they were going to retreat back to Sherr island.
Rook stopped the hand shooting with his bow and narrowed his eyes. Because he wasn´t seeing well at this darkness, he couldn´t see any of the faces of the demons that were on the ship. Perhaps this was because it was at the dead of the night, in a night without the moonlight. Only their faint silhouettes could be seen.
“…Raku-ane, there is something strange.”
Rook looked at Raku´s direction. It seemed Raku had already noticed the abnormality before Rook. Putting down her bow, she leaned at the edge of the ship. As if she was thinking about something, she frowned her eyebrows.
“Shut up for a bit; you are distracting me.”
With Raku´s serious tone, Rook became silent. Without even giving a glance to Rook, she took out the eyeglass that was in a bag at her waist. It seems she intends on checking the situation of the enemy.
And then, Rook also started to think about the situation himself. Rook started to ponder about the reason for that bad feeling.
The first thing he thought about was the first battle of Karkata. At that time, just like now, right after the start of the battle, he had one-dimensionally handled the situation. They followed the retreating demons to the Karkata fortress and were taken by surprise, falling into their trap.
Perhaps, this time too they were acting as if they had already been defeated and were planning on having them fall into their trap.
“No, it´s different.”
Rook shook his head.
The demons hadn´t been aware of the existence of that trap back then, or at least the demons he had directly fought against. They had become desperate and fought putting their life on line. Looking at their fleet, he couldn´t tell any desperation coming from them. And so, why was it that the demons weren´t becoming desperate? Even though they were in such a hopeless situation… Rook gasped in a low voice.
And at that moment, the direction of the demon ships started to change. Apparently, they acknowledged their inferiority and intended to retreat back to Sherr island. There was nothing to be surprised about. But rather than being happy about their great victory, the bad feeling that wouldn´t fade away remained. While his mood was getting gloomy, Raku, who stood next to him, raised a piercing shout.
“Change to fire arrows! Put their ship on fire! Immediately!”
Because of the unexpected words declared by her elder sister, Rook had his eyes open-wide. Although the demon ships were at a distance that it wouldn´t be possible for them to board at their ships, they were still inside their range of fire. If the direction of the wind were to change, it was possible the fire would to blow to their direction. That´s why they didn´t use fire arrows before. Despite that, without hesitation, Raku said the soldiers to do so.
“Don´t do it, Raku-ane! It´s dangerous!”
Rook wondered if Raku was sane.
Being called by Rook, Raku´s expression changed. Her face was getting more and more grim.
“Fool! Look well at the demons standing on those ships!”
Raku pressed the eyeglass onto Rook´s chest. Taking the eyeglass that had been brusquely given to him, he looked at the demon ships. And then, he let out a surprise grasp.
Until now, they had kept firing arrows at the silhouettes thought to be demons. However, the true identity of those silhouettes were only dolls made of straw. The tens of dolls were at the ships with their hands spread wide. Everywhere at the areas of their chest, head and belly were deeply pierced by arrows. Close to them, several demon were controlling the ship while they had been in cover from the arrow rain.
“This… Such a thing.”
Blood left from Rook´s body.
It was as if they had given the enemy the arrows as a present. Of course, once the arrows had been fired, they would become unusable. However, if their conditions are good enough, it is possible to use them once more. The arrows he had been firing with hatred in his heart became a benefit to the enemy. Rook weakly fell down, sitting at the floor.
“Get a hold of yourself! Rook, you are the commander, you know?”
Being hit at the back by Raku, Rook jumped up to his feet. The fire arrows followed after the retreating ships. Being poured with fire arrows, one of the ships began to burn, raising a roaring sound. However, the remaining three ships regrettably got away from the encirclement area and went back. They had lost a great amount of arrows, and the demons got hold of a great number of arrows as their spoils of war. At first glance, it had been a won battle. However, that was obviously a defeat. Rook punched the wall of the ship. With a numbing feeling, pain went through his fist.
“…Raku-ane, how many are the remaining arrows?”
“…Unfortunately, if we were to have thirty arrows for each person now, it would actually be too good.”
With that, they needed to go back to Fert resupply their arrows.
The ships that didn´t exhaust as many arrows comparatively were left as lookouts and the ships that couldn´t fight anymore returned to Fert for the moment. After talking with Raku about their next moves for tomorrow, he waveringly went back to his bedroom.
“Once again, I lost.”
He was supposed to be the main character.
The center of this world was supposed to be himself.
But then, why did he keep losing?
He was supposed to be enjoying his life at this new world. But as if he began rolling down through a hill road, the situation was getting worse and worse. Where did he do wrong? His difference from Rook Barusak of the game was only to the extent of him making policy and management reformations for the sake of the people.(TL note: It doesn´t say what kind of reformations he did… So I just put there what most likely his reformations were about.) He couldn´t have thought that caring about his people would lead to such a bad fortune. As far as he was concerned, Rook knew there was something in himself that was the cause for all this, but he didn´t know what this problem was.
“That´s the worst, really.”
Even though he had thought he would be living a fun life once he reincarnated in a new world…
Sighing, right when Rook was about to open the lock of the door of his bedroom and go inside, he suddenly noticed that somebody had entered his room. The lock should have been locked . There were no duplicate keys; the only one to hold the key to his room was Rook himself.
“Who? …Is it a demon?”
After going through that battle, he couldn´t throw away the possibility that a demon was able to sneakily boarded in the ship. Rook´s wariness increased. Moving his hand to the sword in his waist, he prepared himself as to be able to fight anytime. Holding his breath, he waited for the move of the enemy.
And as he did that, the one to visit his room had started to weirdly laugh.
“Kukuku… There is no need for you to be that scared.”
The one standing there was a handsome winged young man.
Although Rook suspected him to be a demon, any of the species of demons written about in the documents corresponded to his appearance. However, once he was clearly not a human, Rook decided to assume the person standing in front of his eyes was a demon. While preparing for battle, Rook exchanged glances with the handsome young man.
“Who are you?”
“I am a shinigami, you see.”
The young man that had just named himself showed Rook some kind of old scroll. The old scroll had tiny letters written closely packed. The shinigami was waving that scroll that seemed to be something that would be at a museum. While raising the corners of his mouth as if he was planning mischief, the shinigami got hold of the perplexed Rook, whose pair of eyes weren´t smiling at all.(TL note: I don´t know how to translate this… The verb used is捕らえる, but…. What is that supposed to mean in this case? I guess the shinigami approached Rook like those scenes the guy wanna be cool and say something serious.)
“I have come to grant your wishes, Rook Barusak.”