Chapter 145 – We Were Found?
“No one is noticing that we are here. This magic is quite useful.”
Melk said as she looked at the skeletons by the port while we had Hide activated.
We had gone down the river and infiltrated the royal capital.
On the way, I had cast Hide on us, which allowed us to advance without attracting any attention.
Hide could be cast not just on yourself, but could be activated like a wall. Like this, I had concealed both sides of the boat.
Perhaps it was because Melk and Asuha were also helping, but the skeletons showed no signs of noticing us.
But Monica looked a little dissatisfied.
“Well, I suppose getting by quietly is one way…”
“You’ll have other opportunities to fight. Don’t get so worked up.”
Mette said as she patted Monica on the shoulder.
As I steered the boat from the deck, I turned to Monica.
“If anything, it’s what comes next that is important. I will take Celes and Ronea with the boat and go close to the port. And we’ll need your support if the enemy attacks us.”
Monica nodded as she gripped her bow tightly.
Mette also raised her crossbow and said that she would handle them.
Only Iria looked concerned.
“Don’t worry, Iria. I won’t be alone when disembarking.”
“Yes… Please be safe.”
Iria answered in a quiet voice.
She really did worry too much…
However, I had a feeling that it wasn’t because of the skeletons, but more that she distrusted Ronea.
Ronea was a demon that had been summoned. And so Iria was worried about how she would act once she was facing the Demon King Army.
I then boarded the row boat with Ronea and Celes.
“Baaah! Are we going now, Sir Joshua!?”
“Aye! Let’s be off then.”
I sat down and rowed with the oars.
We would go close to the mouth of the river and see the reactions of the skeletons upon seeing Celes and Ronea.
However, I was not a monster. And so I concealed myself with Hide.
“There are a lot of them over there.”
There was a street alongside the river that was lined with stalls and shops.
And there, skeletons stood eerily still.
“Celes, I’m counting on you. I’ll have Magic Shield cast as well.”
“Bahhh! Leave it to me!”
“You too, Ronea. If something happens, you must protect Celes.”
After hearing their voices, I used Hide to erase my presence completely.
And then stopped the boat close to the skeletons.
“Baah! Good day to you!”
Celes started to talk to the armed skeletons from the boat.
And then the skeletons turned to face her all at once.
For a second, I thought that they were going to attack her, but they did not move after that.
“Baahhh… Do not startle me like that. I just want to ask for directions. Do you know how I can reach the temple? This city is so big that I would get lost.”
And then the skeletons used their swords to point to the north.
“Oh, so it’s that way!! Thank you!! I will go then!”
And so I rowed the boat back to the ship.
Then I deactivated some of Hide and said to Celes,
“You did well, Celes. It seems like the skeletons will not harm you.”
“Baah! In that case, it will be our turn to act, just like we planned!!”
I nodded in agreement, and then we returned to the ship in order to prepare for landing.
After that, the ship was docked at the port.
As for the people who would disembark, it was Celes and the fifteen Mopes, Iria, Mette, Melk, Ronea, and me. Asuha would stay high up in the sky and watch for enemy movement.
As for Monica, Ymir, Enna and the other demihumans, they would stay and guard the ship.
“Everyone, I am counting on you. Raise the gangway after we are on land.”
The two nodded, and we descended to the pier.
And then Monica and the others removed the gangway plank.
We then hid inside of the herd of Mopes and made our way into the royal capital.
A great herd of wooly Mopes marching into the city… This would usually be an astonishing sight.
However, none of the skeletons on the streets were attacking us.
“There are surprisingly few of them…”
Iria muttered as she looked around at the city streets.
We were currently on one of the main streets of the capital. It was wide enough for four carriages to pass alongside each other.
And yet, there were only a few dozen skeletons around us at the most.
It seemed like they might be positioned in important areas, such as the walls.
Of course, I had checked Asuha’s map for the shortest route that had the fewest number of enemies, so that might be one reason.
Besides, it was very convenient for us that there were few enemies.
“Ohh! There are a lot of clothes over there!
“So this is a human city. But there are no humans.”
Mette and Melk gazed at the different stores as if they were tourists.
But then Iria scolded them, saying, ‘You must not lower your guard.’
However, even Iria could not help but glance at the fancy shelves of the tailors.
“Baah. So this is what a human city is like. It is just as magnificent as the Demon King castle.”
“There is a city near the Demon King castle?”
I felt stupid for asking such an obvious question to Celes.
After all, even monsters could speak and eat like anyone else.
“Indeed! But only demons and select monsters are allowed to walk freely in the castle. Mopes like us could not get inside, but perhaps someone like Ms. Ronea could.”
Ronea turned to look at Celes, but did not say anything.
It seemed like she had not known about that… Perhaps it showed she really did have no direct connection with the Demon King Army.
I thought of such things as we continued on our way, and then suddenly, I heard the sounds of rattling.
“Wh-what is that!? AH!?”
The Mopes noticed the carriage that was moving towards us from the street up ahead.
But it wasn’t any ordinary carriage.
It was being drawn by…Skeleton Horses.
A prison carriage that was driven by a skeleton driver.
And inside of the carriage, I could see small human children were held captive.
“Is that… Sir Joshua.”
The children extended their hands from between the bars and asked for help.
Their clothes were covered in mud.
They had probably been hiding somewhere before they were captured.
The carriage seemed like it was going to turn at the cross section behind us.
What would happen to those children if we didn’t stop them…
Previously, Vilian and the Shwartz Knights had come to Fendel.
He had tried to take me back with him, but was captured by Bayron and sold to the Demon King’s trolls.
Would these children also be sold as slaves?
…I could not let them be taken away like this.
However, that also meant that the operation would fail.
There were also ten other skeleton knights around the carriage as escorts.
I couldn’t put Iria and the others in danger… Huh?
They were all looking at me.
We could not leave things like this… They were all thinking the same thing.
“Sir Joshua. There is no need to hesitate.”
I nodded at Iria’s words.
“Let’s help them.”
The moment I said that, Iria unsheathed her sword and ran towards the carriage. And with a slash, she cut down the iron bars.
“Mette, scatter the surrounding skeletons!”
Mette’s enthusiastic voice rang.
And with her club, she smashed the skeleton knights that tried to move towards Iria.
“Hurry, come here. Run to the sheep!”
Melk called, and the children began to run from the carriage.
However, in the meantime, skeletons were moving towards us from all sides.
Some of them wielded bows, and were starting to target us.
“Celes! Carry the children and return to the boat ahead of us! We will stay here and prevent them from following you!”
“Baaahhh! Everyone, let’s run!”
The Mopes carried the children on their backs and started to run towards the ship at full speed.
“Asuha! Blow away the arrows that are following the Mopes!!”
I shouted, and then Asuha created a great wind that swept around the Mopes. Now the children should be safe.
“Everyone, let’s retreat as well!
And so we followed after Celes and ran towards the ship.
However, a great horde of skeletons appeared and blocked our path.
“We won’t lose to the likes of you!!”
Mette was not the least bit intimidated, and she swung her club, throwing the skeletons into the air.
“I do not wish to hurt the memory of those who died… Forgive me.”
Iria said, as she too slashed through the skeletons with her sword.
As for Melk and me, we used defense magic to stop the arrows of the skeletons.
Ronea also used shadow magic to take down the skeletons.
At this point, the enemy was not even able to get close to us.
“Pretty spineless in spite of being skeletons!! I could defeat all of them if I wanted to! What do you think, Joshua? Why don’t we just head over to the temple?!”
Shouted Mette. Iria also looked like she had barely broken a sweat.
Indeed, it seemed possible enough… However, I was sure that there were actually many more enemies than this.
Asuha then returned.
“Sir Joshua! The skeletons all over the city are starting to move towards this area! There are thousands…no, tens of thousands of them!”
No matter how strong Iria and the others were, they could not take on tens of thousands of enemies.
“Then we will retreat to the ship for now!”
And like that, we withdrew from the city.