And so I received funds from the conservative merchants, which I used to hire mercenaries.
While this was to prepare for our assault on the ghost fleet, even as we were gathering men, the ships continued to attack.
And every time, I took my subordinates and the mercenaries to drive them back. But the enemy seemed to be learning as well. After the third day, they only fired their cannons from the shore.
It would be easy to fight them if they came onto land, but there was nothing we could do now.
Our own cannons were no longer able to be used, and Berneze’s fleet was currently absent.
But the pirates continued to fire their cannons like rain.
As for me, the most I could do was destroy the cannon balls with magic, or dodge them.
“If I could only get closer to them…”
As I troubled over this, the now confident Captain Rosnay began to do something most diabolical.
Perhaps he felt that these long range attacks with cannons were not doing enough. And so he had one of the guards they had taken as a prisoner brought out, and made him stand on the deck.
The man was tied to the mast so that everyone could see him. He was the captain of the guards.
His name was Georg. Ryoma told me.
He was a brilliant captain who had fought through the hordes of pirates in order to save his men. And he had stayed in the battlefield until the very end. But it was due to this bravery, that he was captured by the enemy.
It was the perfect representation of self sacrifice. In other words, he was a loyal, compassionate, beloved and trusted superior.
However, he was currently in the enemy’s hands. Perhaps he had been tortured on the ghost ship, as his body was red and covered in cuts.
Jeanne looked at him sadly.
“…Oh, my God. Please save that man.”
I and the others felt the same way. But Francis Rosnay seemed to have been expecting this reaction, and his actions only grew worse.
His plan was likely to show the people of the city his cruelty, hoping that it would lower their morale.
Well, we could not allow things to go according to his plan then. But then again, we couldn’t exactly ignore him and Georg.
Rosnay stood on the deck and raised his voice.
“People of the floating city! Thank you for greeting us the other day. You have my respect for being able to fend off our attack. However, you would be wise to surrender to us immediately. The longer you wait, the more of you will suffer the same fate as this captain.”
Rosnay said. And then he accepted a soldering iron from one of his men. And he pushed it into Georg’s chest without hesitation.
The painful cry echoed.
At the same time, Rosnay took out a dagger and began to skin Georg as if he were skinning a rabbit.
It was too cruel to watch. And yet I did not take my eyes off of him. After all, I did not miss the determination that resided in the depths of Georg’s eyes.
He showed courage while Rosnay demanded that the city surrender. It was proof that he was a hero of the city.
“Guards of the floating city! We will never surrender! Fight until the very end! Do not forget your pride as people of the sea! Step over my dead body and attack!”
Upon hearing these words, Rosnay’s face contorted with rage. This had not been what he was expecting to hear.
Full of rage, Rosnay returned to his cruel torture. He pulled out a pair of pliers and was about to pull off Georg’s fingers. However, he was unable to.
Someone was touched by the man’s courage. Surprisingly, it was someone in the enemy ranks.
This person was on a different ship than Rosnay, and he now pulled his bow.
With all of the power within him, he unleashed the arrow and saved Georg. Not his life, but his dignity.
The arrow went straight into Georg’s heart. This meant his death, but he did not let out a final curse.
It was evident that this blade was meant to be merciful.
If anything, he left with a word of gratitude and a blessing on the floating city.
This only angered Rosnay even more, but the archer only shrugged, and then left the ship on a small boat.
It appeared that he had decided to leave the ghost fleet.
Rosnay then ordered his men to kill him with their cannons, but I was not about to allow it to happen.
Once he was within range, I cast a magic barrier around him for protection.
Cannonballs were pushed away and arrows were blocked. I concentrated on saving him.
My efforts were rewarded, and the man’s life was saved. When he arrived at the docks, Toshizou recognized him as one of the mercenaries that we had seen previously.
“Master. That is the archer who attacked us along with those bandits. The one who shot with such precision.”
“I am aware.”
“I see. So you saved him while knowing that he is our enemy.”
“Yes, I did. However, he is now an enemy of Rosnay. And you know what they say about the enemy of your enemy. Besides, mercenaries don’t care about ideals. They fight for money. We won’t be able to do anything if we are troubled over such small details.”
“That is true, but…”
Toshizou did not look convinced, but I ignored him and asked the man for his name.
He revealed to me his identity without hesitation.
“My name is Robin. Robin Hood.”
It was Jeanne who was most surprised to hear his name. She raised her voice.
“Robin Hood? The legendary archer from England?”
Who is Robin Hood? Toshizou’s face seemed to ask. And so I explained it to him.
“Robin Hood is a legendary archer from the country of England, which is in another world. He and his men hid in a place known as the Sherwood Forest, and rebelled against the brother of Richard the Lion Heart.”
“Ah. So he is like Nasu no Yoichi.”
Perhaps they were similar in that they were legendary people whose existence was sometimes questioned.
However, their personalities and skill with the bow was also similar. We had just seen Robin Hood shoot an arrow into a man’s heart, even while standing on an unsteady ship. And in the previous battle, he had also shot accurately.
While he was a legendary figure, his skill exceeded even his reputation.
“Still, I did not expect someone like you to work as a mercenary. What caused you to do it?”
“That is something that I’ll tell you once we know more about each other. What do you say, Demon King? Will you not hire me?”
As there was no hesitation, Toshizou and Eve were surprised. No, even Robin was surprised.
“A quick decision. Aren’t you afraid that I’ll betray you?”
“At the very least, you seem to have tired of Rosnay’s ways. So I expect you’ll cooperate until he is dead.”
“That’s very perceptive of you. I’ll expect a generous reward as well.”
“Of course. I will pay you ten times as much as the average mercenary.”
“Then I will work as much as ten of them.”
“My sponsor, Sir Marco, will be glad to hear it.”
After that, I asked him for an arrow, which he offered.
And so I pulled out some poison from my pocket and coated the arrow with it.
“A poisoned arrow? But Rosnay is an undead.”
“There are poisons that are effective against undead. This is poison from the Yulicalis plant.”
“A beautiful flower that grows in the mountains. However, it only grows in places that are thick with miasma. And if you inhale that miasma, even an undead Demon King will die.”
“How could such a deadly plant be picked?”
“There is a two-headed dog that is resistant to this miasma. And so they are used to pick the plants. However, this method is difficult, and so they are very expensive.”
Well, thanks to our generous sponsors, it wasn’t too expensive for me. I then handed him the arrow.
“If you hit his weak spot with this, his undead body will be destroyed. And you are the only one who can do it. Will you help me?”
“Indeed I will. With everything that I have, I will shoot this arrow into his weak spot.”
He declared. And then he nocked the arrow and pulled the bowstring.
It seemed to whine as he pulled to the limit.
And while there was a great distance between us, I knew that he could still make it. There was an aura of confidence around him.
“…So, where is this weak spot?”
He asked when he was ready to shoot. And so I told him.
“It is his left eye. When he uses magic, his left eye will glow. It is my assumption that he had no magic energy originally. Perhaps a magic stone was put in his eye by Demon King Dagon. In other words, if you destroy the source, then the poison will be able to kill him.”
“I see. It is true that his left eye tends to shine eerily. I believe you.”
However… Robin continued.
“If I miss the shot, he will know that we discovered his weakness. And he may not show himself on the frontlines anymore. Are you sure you want to leave this important task to me?’
“Well, it’s possible that you are a double agent.”
He could have been acting all of this time.
“But there is no point in considering such things now. If he refuses to come out after this, then that is fine. There will be fewer casualties.”
“That is one way to think of it.”
“But I still think that you won’t miss.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“You have an insolence that is common among my subordinates. Like Toshizou and Kotaro. You try and test me. But people that are difficult to deal with are often the most skilled. I’m sure that you won’t disappoint me.”
“I see. Demon King Ashtaroth, perhaps this is fate. Very well. I, Robin Hood, will show you what I’m capable of.”
He said, and then the arrow was unleashed. It flew in an arch towards Francis Rosnay.
Rosnay was clearly not thinking that he might be shot at from such a distance, and he was not on his guard. He was currently looking at his men and shouting angrily.
The arrow passed over the cannons and flew right into Rosnay’s eyes as if it was being sucked in.
“Wha-what…?! Why…my left eye…?”
His legs started to shake. He was supposed to be invincible and undead. However, Rosnay did not have enough time to think about how this had happened.
The supply of magic was cut off, and the poison spread throughout his body. Thirty seconds later, bubbles flowed out from his mouth. One minute later, he was vomiting blood.
He could not see or hear anything either. All he did was thrash at the sky in pain. And then he died.
And like that, the ghost captain that had tormented the floating city met his end. It was a pathetic death, befitting such a villain.
The pirates who lost their leader did not bother to swear vengeance. They just fled. Rosnay had not ruled them through being popular, but by being feared.
It was something to learn from. But in any case, my main priority was to praise the Hero who had defeated Rosnay.
And so I turned to Robin and said,
“That was brilliantly done. I will pay you a reward for thirty men instead of ten.”
Robin smiled at this and asked me to shake on it.
“Very well. My skill with the bow should be of use to you during the battle against Dagon as well.”
And he swore to stay with the Ashtaroth army.
And so another Hero joined our ranks. I was very much looking forward to seeing what he would do in the future.