“THIRTY! THEY ARE MORE THAN THIRTY IN NUMBER! WE HAVE TO RUN!”
The scout riding on the horse shouts in a terrified voice.
Immediately, everyone in our vicinity stops in the middle of whatever they were doing and look at him with stunned faces.
The scout then rides straight to us and gets down from his horse to face Reeve urgently. He is a small, mousey looking guy with red hair and black eyes.
“W-What are you saying, Bemis? Thirty Earthborns? Are you sure?” Reeve asks uneasily.
“There is no doubt about their numbers, Reeve. I counted them myself. And mind, all of them are marching straight towards us in a large group and will reach here in a few minutes. We need to retreat right now!” Bemis warns in a scared voice.
“Fuck…” Reeve swears while looking towards the forest in a really tense manner.
All the guild members also start to gather around us in a circular formation, waiting for Reeve to give them orders with a fearful expression on their faces.
In fact, the nervousness is so thick in the air right now that I can almost taste it on my tongue.
“We will never be able to fucking defeat thirty Earthborns. It’s outright impossible…” An adventurer says in a low voice.
“Y-Yeah, I don’t want to die this young…” A satyr replies in a terrified tone.
“That scout said that the Earthborns will be here any moment. We need to run away before they attack,” another adventurer says.
“And run where, huh?”
Suddenly, Reeve speaks again in a strong voice.
“With those numbers, it won’t even take a few minutes for the Earthborns to destroy the wall and enter inside our town. And then, they will start tearing apart everything and killing off everyone in their path.
“Don’t you all understand!? We don’t have any choice but to fight those monsters and stop them right here…” he says with determination.
One strong and mature looking Centaurs step forward from the crowd and address Reeve.
“There is no point to fight if we cannot defeat all those Earthborns by ourselves. Our death will only come earlier than the townspeople’s. The better option for us is to leave and start evacuating the whole town as fast as we can,” he says in a calm voice.
“We cannot do that…” I speak up.
Instantly, everyone’s gaze turns towards me. As none of them know me, I am being showered with confused and unapproving glares.
Though I don’t care at all…
“See, it’s not like the Earthborns are too far away from here. I am sure that before we can even travel around to the entrance gate, the walls will be destroyed and the bloodbath will start.
“The only way we prevent that from happening is by holding back the Earthborns until the evacuation of the townspeople proceeds and then, once everyone is moved to a safer location, we also retreat while fending off the Earthborns,” I say.
The unnecessary chatter and the unapproving looks die instantly as people start wondering over my idea. While I can see many people nodding in agreement, others look a little bit uneasy.
“Hmm… I have decided. We are going to do exactly what Lucas said…” Reeve declares, after thinking for a few seconds.
Then, from behind the boulder, he picks up a huge two-handed Greatsword and stands up on his feet.
“Everyone! Take up your arms and return back to your battle positions! It’s time to cull those monsters and avenge our dead friends!” He shouts.
Everyone answers back with a shout; some vigorously, while some half-heartedly, before dispersing away.
“We will need someone to inform the town police about the evacuation as well though…” Reeve says once only me, Lucy, Iris, and Arya are left.
“Iris is not going to fight, so she can do it. And if Arya flies her across the wall directly, we can save some time as well” I reply.
“Hmm… True,” Reeve says while giving me a nod.
“Leave it to me, brother. I will inform the police,” Iris says, determined.
“And I will drop her off across the wall. Let’s go, Iris,” Arya says before holding Iris’s hand and running away towards the wall with her.
“Okay then, I will be going in the front lines as well. And yeah, as I have no idea about the fighting ability of either of you, help us wherever you see fit,” Reeve tells me and Lucy before moving away with his Greatsword.
Hmm… the fact that he is letting us fight without knowing about our abilities proves his acknowledgment of both of us. It is a well-known fact that an inexperienced person will only hinder others in a battle.
“So, do you really think the evacuation is necessary?” Lucy asks while raising her eyebrows.
“Well, it’s a precaution. But do I think that the Earthborns will be able to actually invade the town? No, I don’t…” I reply with a smile.
“Do you seriously believe that I will be able to handle so many of them, Lucas? You are overestimating me…” She says with a frown.
“I am not asking you to fight all of them, sis. Just stand close to the wall, and blast off any Earthborns who slip through the rest of us with your thunderbolts. Oh, and yes, we will also be using the weapons he gave us as well,” I answer.
Lucy’s eyes open up wide in surprise.
“Really!? But we haven’t trained with those things even once!” Lucy says.
“Well, they will greatly increase the chance of our success. And what is the best way to try them other than in a life-threatening battle against giants?” I say with a wink.
“Lucas, you… Okay, fine.”
Sighing loudly, Lucy puts her hand inside the leather pouch wrapped around her waist and takes out a small golden toothpick.
“You are not taking out your weapon?” she asks while raising her eyebrows.
“After you. Go on…” I urge her.
While shaking her head, Lucy places the toothpick between her index finger and the thumb and presses it strongly.
Immediately, along with a faint metallic sound, both the ends of the toothpick shoots up in length and it’s circumference also increases exponentially.
And just like this, in under a second, a 6-foot tall, majestic-looking golden lance rests in Lucy’s hands.
“Woah… that’s beautiful. Is it heavy?” I ask in astonishment.
“No, it’s surprisingly light. And the blade part looks really sharp as well… Amazing,” Lucy says in an impressed tone while weighing the lance.
“Well, my turn…” I say.
From inside my leather pouch, I excitedly take out a bronze wristband and a miniature double-edged sword. After quickly wearing the wristband on my left hand, I press the miniature sword between the fingers of my right hand and simultaneously form a tight fist with my left one.
Instantly, the double-edged sword expands in size to become a deadly-looking 31-inch bronze weapon. And at the same time, out of my wristband, a circular bronze shield of diameter greater than 60 centimeters erupts into existence as well.
“Damn… This is going to be fun,” I say with a laugh.
Both my shield and my sword are perfect in weight and balance. I can already tell that my attack and defense are going to be greatly optimized using these weapons.
“Well, let’s go—”
“Listen, Lucas,” Lucy says, suddenly interrupting me. For some reason, her voice has turned extremely serious.
“If you find yourself in any sort of dangerous situation during the battle, shout out my name as loud as you can and I will immediately come to help you, okay? Don’t be reckless and try to take any sort of risk…”
“Yeah, sure…” I lie.
Well, obviously, I won’t. She will leave the wall unprotected if that happens and I doubt that others will be able to defend it. And anyway, I am more powerful than she thinks. I can take care of myself.
“No, promise me. Promise me that you will. And please remember— nothing is more important to me than you,” she says, looking deep into my eyes. I can tell that she is greatly worried about me.
Fuck… I cannot make a false promise to my sister.
Suddenly, the ground start tremoring.
“EARTHBORNS INCOMING!” A guy in the front-line yells.
Suddenly, I notice multiple trees falling down at a short distance inside the forest.
Wait a second… Earthborns are strong, but not enough to be able to snap or uproot a fully-grown tree…
Then next instant, a thunderous roar resounds in the field and immediately following that, a huge humanoid figure emerges from the thick forest while snapping the outermost trees in half with his hands.
This monstrous creature has an eight-meters-tall greyish body with six muscular arms, six completely red eyes, and a really ugly looking face. The only clothing on his body is a loincloth, which is wrapped around his waist.
“W-W-What the fuck is that!? Earthborns are not that big!?” A guy nearby shouts in a terrified voice.
Truly, even though it looks exactly like an Earthborn, the size difference is almost double…
The next instant, other normal-sized Earthborns— 4 meters in height—start emerging from the forest as well…
And their number is way greater than thirty…
“Man… we are so damn fucked…” I mutter to myself.
2 thoughts on “Chapter 18: Before The Battle”