Chapter 87- It Was The Minotaurs!
When I climbed up to the top of the wall, an elf man pointed towards the forest.
I squinted my eyes in that direction and could see that the leaves of the trees were indeed moving.
Armor Boars would not be crashing into the trees. They must be tall creatures, whose heads would reach the tree branches.
Melk raised her nose to the sky and opened her mouth.
“The same smell as Moo.”
Moo was the Minotaur baby that was with Fletta. If they had the same scent, then they were definitely Minotaurs.
“There is no doubt about it, judging by the way the trees shake. And there are so many…”
Even if Minotaurs were big, they could not make it shake over such a wide area. Enough trees were shaking that they could cover an entire village.
“Even when considering their size…there must be over a hundred of them.”
I said, and then Albert and the others, who had climbed the wall, shouted.
“These Minotaurs are no threat to us now that we have bows! I’ll bury my arrows into their skulls!”
So saying, Albert and the elves began to nock their arrows.
“Albert, wait! We will follow Sir Joshua’s orders!”
“I-I am an elf knight! No human can order… H-hey, all of you…”
While Albert looked discontented, the other elves quickly lowered their bows, and so he did the same.
And then I turned to them and said,
“I understand that you want to fight them and get your revenge. However, we do not know their numbers or purpose yet. And so I wish to try and speak with them first. For now, will you allow me to handle things?”
And they all nodded at my words. Some still had dissatisfied expressions, like Albert, but since we had offered them food and a fortress, they did not object.
“Thank you, all of you. For now, I will go talk with them. And I’ll need someone to close the gate. Asuha, guide me there!”
Asuha nodded, and then with a few elves, we headed towards the gate.
Next, I turned to Monica.
“Monica. Do Minotaurs use any tools like projectiles? Bows or slings?”
“I do not think so… No, they did throw torches.”
“When they burned your forests. In other words, they can use fire…”
This fortress and all of the walls were made of stone. So there was no need to worry about it burning down.
However, we should also consider the possibility that they couldn’t be defeated with bows alone.
And so I immediately used some wood materials in order to make a ballista and trebuchet.
The surrounding elves had never seen such weapons before, and so their mouths hung open.
In the meantime, Iria and Melk explained to them how to use the weapons.
“These are to be used in an emergency. Do not fire them without orders… Oh.”
Just then, the shaking started to be felt near the river as well.
Eventually, the giants appeared from within the dark forest.
They were muscular, with a height and width that was twice that of humans.
Their eyes shone with a red color, and they had two horns on top of their heads.
But they wore no armor at all.
As for weapons, I could only see giant battleaxes.
The mythical creatures looked like they had just stepped out of a painting in a temple.
However, there was one thing that was very obvious. They were filled with rage.
Their eyebrows were raised and their teeth ground together.
The expression of the largest Minotaur who led them was especially fierce.
This one was twice the size of the others, and seemed to be big enough to jump over the walls. Perhaps that was their chief.
The chief glared at us and then said,
“Humans…many humans… Humans!!”
After seeing us on the walls, they began to roar and shout.
Perhaps Iria and I looked like that, but the others were elves.
Well, I suppose if you took away the ears, they did look like humans.
So they saw elves as humans then.
And judging by his expression, his feelings towards humans were…
“We won’t forgive the humans!! We’ll kill the humans!!”
“Wait! It is true that I am a human, but these others are not!”
I took a step forward and shouted to the chief on the other side of the river.
“Not? But you are a human? And the others are different?”
The chief said in a confused voice.
So he did think that the elves were humans.
Not only that, but he listened to what I was saying… Perhaps we could understand each other after all?
And so I answered.
“That’s true, I am a human. However, I have not done anything for you to hate me.”
“No. It was you people who sealed us away! In the dark, dark depths! For so, so long!”
There was a myth about humans calling Minotaurs a cursed race, and sealing them underground… If that story was true, then they would have a reason to hate humans.
“I see… However, that was not me. Though, there are humans who are like that.”
The chief answered in a quiet voice.
“Not you? So you did not seal us away?”
“That’s right. Not I, or anyone else who is here. As for the humans who did that to you… They would be long dead.”
“But… No, you must be lying to us! The servant of the Demon King said it! That it was the humans who locked us away! And so we must kill all of the humans!”
“The Demon King!? You were visited by a servant of the Demon King?”
“Indeed! The Demon King let us out! And told us to kill the humans! So we shall kill them!”
I thought back on when I had saved Ymir and the dwarves.
At that time, we had seen an army of orcs fleeing from the north.
So it would not have been strange if someone from the Demon King’s army had made contact with the Minotaurs.
So it was the Demon King army who broke the seal and unleashed them…
“Wait! They are not humans! I am the only human here! Look at their ears! Do the humans that you know have long ears like these? They are elves. Demihumans. Besides, they protected one of your children.”
I turned to Fletta.
And then Fletta picked up Moo so that it could be seen from the walls. And then she shouted.
“Uh! Um! Is Moo’s mother around? Moo got lost!”
The chief looked astonished when he heard Fletta.
“Th-that is my daughter… In a place like this…”
Moo jumped out of Fletta’s arms and then mooed towards the chief from the wall.
Apparently, she was telling him that we were not enemies.
The chief then turned to me and spoke in a gentle voice.
“…You saved her?”
“Aye. But Moo also saved us. We are like friends.”
“…Human friends. But you helped save my daughter…”
The strength seemed to leave the hand that held the battleaxe.
Would he reconsider now?
It was just as I thought this.
“There are kind humans too… Ugh! Uuuuuuuuuuggghhh!!”
Suddenly, the Minotaurs began to look like they were in pain.
“What is it!? Are you hurt!?”
I asked, and then the chief slowly raised his head.
There was something in his face that was clearly different from before.
Black miasma covered his eyes, and there was an even stronger rage there now.
The chief roared, and then shouted at me angrily.
“No! No-no! You are the enemy! That is what Calvelin said! We will kill you all!”
As if it was an order, the other Minotaurs started to move towards the wall.
“Damn it! We have no choice. Prepare to fight… No, wait.”
Before I could finish, I noticed a change come over the Minotaurs.
They were afraid of the water, and would not advance.
“Water…it’s water! We’ll be swept away! We can’t!”
“If you go in, you will never come out alive!!”
And so the Minotaurs moved about in confusion in front of the river.
“…They are afraid of water? But why?”
Iria looked puzzled.
They needed water to survive, just like any other creature.
Even the place they had been shut in should have had some kind of water source.
From what I heard, it was not unusual for there to be rivers with strong currents deep underground. Perhaps they had lost their friends in such currents.
“In any case, now they cannot come close to us!”
Monica said happily.
Indeed, they could not even get close to the walls.
The other elves started to shout at them to try and cross.
“Stop taunting them!”
It was just as I said this.
There was a thunderous boom, and the ground under our feet shook.
“ARRRGHHHH!!! Humans! Kill the humans!”
Came the voice from the sky.
And when I looked up, I saw the chief as he swung his giant battleaxe.
Apparently, he had jumped across. What incredible leg strength.
With such speed, even the elves were not able to nock their arrows in time.
“Sir Joshua. Stand back!”
Iria unsheathed her sword and moved in front of me.
“Wait, Iria! Tsk.”
The chief had already swung down with his axe.
I quickly cast Magic Shield on Iria in order to block the attack.
“Human! Kill! ARRGHHHH!”
“Sir Joshua is no ordinary human! But if you still must fight him, you’ll have to go through me!”
Iria swung her sword from her left to the right with all of her strength.
There was a deafening sound and gust of wind as the Kijin horn blade slammed into the battleaxe.
“ARGHHHH!!! Kill humans! Kill humans!”
With brute force, the chief attempted to crush Iria.
However, Iria did not back down a single step. But the stone pavement at her feet was starting to crumble.
“I will not lose! Not in front of Sir Joshua!”
Iria gripped her sword tightly and began to shout.
Little by little, Iria’s blade began to push the chief’s axe upwards.
Eventually, cracks started to appear, and Iria ground her sword into it until the axe finally shattered into fragments.
The chief quickly let go of the handle and then kicked off the ground, jumping away from the fortress and retreating back to the other side of the river.
Iria pointed her blade at him.
“There is nothing that this sword cannot cut. I could have taken your head easily if I wanted to. This is your final warning…”
I could not see Iria’s face from where I was standing.
However, her voice was as cold as ice.
“…If you continue to defy Sir Joshua, then I will kill you… I don’t care about what your situation is.”
Upon hearing these words, the Minotaurs became motionless.
Some of them were sweating from their foreheads and shaking at the knees.
Even the chief, who had caused such a scene, was not able to move or speak while looking at Iria’s face.
However, a moment later, the Minotaurs began to thrash around in pain once again.
Just then, Melk’s ears stuck up.
“A strange sound…Asuha. Check the forest from the sky. Something is making a noise. But be careful.”
Said Melk, and then Asuha took off into the air.
“What is going on, Melk?”
“I heard it faintly before. This strange sound. I think it is the cause of pain the Minotaurs feel.”
“What? So perhaps they are being controlled…”
It could be something like brainwashing…
“We have to find the spell caster… Monica! I’ll leave the defenses here to you! If they try to cross the river, aim at their legs!”
“Understood! But where are you going, Sir Joshua?”
“We’re going to take down the enemy boss!”
And we climbed down the walls and headed towards the pier.