It was night.
As there was a possibility of an invasion, many fires were lit, and many soldiers were put on watch.
I returned to my tent and put on my nearly worthless leather armor.
“If only Rig was here…”
Yes, I could see now just how important an Adjutant was.
Without Rig, I had to do everything myself.
I chose the Deepsea Dragon Sword as my weapon.
It was likely that mere fists would not be effective against such a strong enemy.
“I better gather everyone together then.”
If Rig was here, he would have ran around and gathered them for me. But now I had to do it.
And so I went around and shouted at all of the tents.
“…The ones that aren’t here must have gone off somewhere.”
Only fourteen of them had gathered.
“All of you, listen carefully. There may be an invasion from the Celestial World. It’s not confirmed yet, but we must be prepared. I want you all to put on your armor and equip your weapons. Also, don’t wander off on your own.”
“What? You mean we all have to stay together?”
“You can move in groups of five. But nothing under that. It’s very possible that the enemy will come right now. You can’t let your guard down.”
I wanted to tell the others as well, but it was possible that they wouldn’t return until morning.
And if I asked these meat heads to tell them, they would likely forget.
“We’ll join the others with Corps Commander Dyle, just in case.”
We had considered the possibility that too much contact could have a negative effect, and so our tents were pitched far away from the others.
However, considering the current situation, it seemed like a good idea to stay close to them.
And so the Ogres armed themselves and we united with the others and only acted in a group.
We were now in the camp, where security had been tightened greatly.
From here, there would be a long wait.
After some time, there was a report that the stake had turned into a pillar of salt.
It had changed after being affected by mana.
It should have meant that no more information would be sent to the Celestial World. However, they had actually found another stake of holy power.
While they seemed to have sent it at the same time as the other one turned into a pillar of salt, Halm still felt that they were seriously attempting an invasion.
The residents of the Celestial World put a lot of weight in rationality. They wouldn’t hammer the stakes for no reason and waste their power.
Still, time passed without any further developments. And then it was morning.
I was with Halm, as we were on guard duty.
“Well, there was no invasion after all.”
Several hours had now passed since the stake had turned into a pillar of salt.
Perhaps there wouldn’t be an attack today.
It was just as I was thinking of going back and getting some sleep. The sky shook.
It sounded like numerous stringed instruments. But it was the sound of the sky tearing apart.
“…So they are coming.”
While I was prepared for it, our worst fear had come true.
The sky was ripped open, and countless spears of light rained down onto the Demon World.
“Celestial Spears!? What are they thinking!”
“What is it?”
“It’s their barrier magic. There is a time limit, and it’s not that powerful. However, it uses a ridiculous amount of power.”
So it was a barrier that was horribly inefficient.
“What could be their purpose?”
“To control this land. …It will cover us!”
Before Halm could finish his words, there was a sound, and the space was closed up.
It was a high-pitched, hard sound. I had never heard anything like it before, but I immediately knew just how hard this barrier was.
We would not be able to break through it.
“My body suddenly feels sluggish.”
“Usually, their barriers are supposed to mimic the Celestial World. But the Celestial Spears are not enough to do that. All it can do is make it harder for us to move, and they will find it easier to breathe. However, I wonder how many bodies they crushed in order to make this.”
According to him, residents of the Celestial World who had been drained of too much power had no way of recovering. And so they were discarded.
Eight spears had fallen from the sky.
Halm guessed that it would have taken the power of several people to create them.
“…Here they come.”
A space in the air opened, and then the residents of the Celestial World appeared from inside.
“They are wearing white.”
“They always wear white. I heard that they throw away their clothes when they get dirty. But they also wear those clothes because they can tell if they are dirty. I don’t understand them at all.”
“I see. So they are researchers.”
Apparently, these people from the Celestial World were researching all year long.
Nonstop experiments sounded rather boring to me, but they used magic stones to power them.
Magic stones—in our world, they were called the Orb of Control.
As they could store mana, the Orb of Control gave us strength.
Everyone in the Demon World had one.
And the residents of the Celestial World wanted them.
When they ran out of energy for their research, they would come here in order to hunt us down and gather more Orbs of Control.
“…So, that’s a resident of the Celestial World?”
Their faces were like a Noh mask.
Or maybe like a buddha statue.
And they were all wearing the kind of white robes you would expect researchers to wear.
About ten of them arrived first.
All of them were carrying some kind of device.
“What is that they are carrying?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps it’s necessary in order to maintain the barrier.”
It looked like a small box at first, but the shape was different.
It wasn’t unlike a game controller.
They were all carrying them, but there was also another characteristic that I noticed.
They had bands on their left arms.
And when I squinted, I could see that it was white with three lines across.
The lines were at an angle and were bent like thunderbolts. They were red.
“Those arm bands…the white and red ones. What are they?”
“All of the residents of the Celestial World belong to research institutions. That’s their mark.”
“They are all researchers?”
“It’s like what we would call a country. People who are born there will inherit the research of their parents. After all these experiments take hundreds if not thousands of years. And so it’s passed down from generation to generation. I heard that no one ever moves from one institution to the other. And judging from this mark… What!?”
Halm stopped with a look of shock.
I didn’t understand why.
“No…but, it is…”
“What is it?”
“That…is…they were supposed to have been annihilated…”
“What? That mark?”
“It’s Eira…the research institution Eira…no…they were the ones who fought Lesser High King Yamato. He destroyed them completely. So how can they be here!?”
As Halm stood there in shock, the crack in space began to widen with a terrible sound.
This time, it was so much louder than the last.