Chapter 26 – The Tree Giants Came!
“Mette…prepare for battle at once!”
Iria gave the order, and Mette shouted at those at the bottom of the tower to pick up their weapons.
Moving trees… Normally, you might think that such a thing was impossible.
However, there were creatures that looked a lot like trees.
I believe they were a race called Ents, and they lived in the forest.
While they were considered to be monsters, I had never heard of any Ents being in the Demon King’s army.
It was no wonder, since they were frighteningly conservative, and generally never left their forest.
However, if one invaded their territory, they would try and eradicate you with all of their might…
They were considered to be the strongest residents of the forest.
“…So the Ents are on the move…”
I muttered, and Mette replied.
“Should I unleash our crossbows on them? Or should we challenge them at close range?”
“No, neither will be very effective. Even if we could hurt them, they would heal right away… What is effective on them is fire.”
“So we should throw torches at them?”
“No, it’s fine. I can create fire. I’ll be in the front this time, so all of you should stay behind me.”
But as I descended from the tower, Iria grabbed my arm.
“Su-surely not! It is too dangerous for you to go alone!”
“It will be fine. An Ent’s power will not be at its strongest outside of the forest. I just need you all to stay back and do nothing.”
We left the tower, and then I waited in front of the forest where the Ents should emerge from.
While it was not ideal, in the worst case scenario, I might have to burn down the trees.
As I listened to the rustling of the leaves, I sensed that they were close. At the same time, the ground began to shake.
It wasn’t just one or two. There were dozens, no hundreds.
Eventually, the trees that lined the rim of the forest began to shake violently, and the surrounding area suddenly became quiet.
It was dark beyond the trees, and so I couldn’t see anything.
But I could sense their presence. They were watching me.
If they were not going to make the first move, then I just had to call out to them.
“Are you Ents!? We mean you no harm! If you only want to pass through, we will not lay a hand on you!”
After I shouted those words, the forest began to shake again.
And then, a tree giant that was about five beters tall came out of the forest.
It was definitely an Ent. Even the arms and legs were part of the tree.
There were holes in the trunk that were eyes, and they seemed to glare at me.
“So there are humans waiting here for us as well… In that case, we must fight until the bitter end!”
The moment after the words were spoken, something like a boulder came flying out from the trees.
“Magic Shield! Craft…Wall!”
I cast Magic Shield and then built a stone wall in front of me.
The wall blocked the boulder.
The Ent raised its voice in surprise.
“What? A wall!?”
“Please listen to me! You attacked me on sight. Is it because you have been attacked by other humans!?”
“Yes! They set fire to our forests and abducted our friends! And you are one of them, are you not!?”
“We are not! While I am a human, the inhabitants of this village are Kijins and werewolves! Can’t you see!?”
The Ent thought for a moment and then shouted.
“I have never heard of Kijins or werewolves who could build such structures! Not only that, but they are wielding human weapons!”
The fact that this village was unusually developed had filled the Ent with suspicion.
The Ent shouted.
“My friends, this is as far as we go! We will fight until the end!”
Apparently, the Ents had lost the ability to make reasonable decisions.
Perhaps it was only natural after your homeland was burned to the ground.
In that case, the matter was simple…
I used Magic Workshop to create a few dozen wooden arrows.
Then I lit them on fire and unleashed them so that they spread out towards the front of the forest.
Like this, a small wall of fire stretched out for about thirty beters across the field.
I didn’t have any fire magic that could burn over a large area.
I could only use low-ranking magic.
However, this was a good substitute for Fire Wall, which was a mid-ranking spell.
“Run! It will burn us!”
The forest began to shake all at once, and I could hear them screaming.
No one was trying to charge at us.
“My friends, do not flee! Are you not proud Ents!?”
The Ent immediately tried to call them back, but it seemed like no one was listening.
“Tsk! I have no choice!”
The Ent’s hands became sharp and it started to charge towards me.
But that’s when it happened.
Something passed me like the wind.
The Ent stopped.
A sword was pointed right at the center of its body.
“…Stop your mutterings and listen carefully to what Sir Joshua is saying.”
Came the chilling voice. At first, I thought it was Mette.
However, the person holding the sword had silvery hair… It was Iria.
The Ent looked terrified for a second, and then it sat down quietly.
I had not been able to see Iria’s face in that moment.
Bonus chapter. Thank you, Piisfun!