𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟒: 𝐒𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝟐)
I plunge into the whirl of melee.
The shopping district is already in a state of chaos, with people and monsters mixed together, leaving no room for a refined strategy.
First, we need to separate friend from foe, otherwise we can’t make any moves.
“Asuka! Don’t stray too far!”
“Got it! Mommy Nel!”
We can’t just attack one-sidedly like before. We have to fight without any gaps, protecting each other’s backs.
In a normal fight, sahagins are stronger than humans, even with the advantage of ground combat.
They are as ferocious as sharks, as cunning as killer whales, and as agile as flying fish.
Even a skilled swordsman would struggle in a one-on-one fight.
Asuka’s attack cuts through the scales, causing blood to spurt out.
But it’s not a fatal wound.
She simply lacks the physical strength.
Enraged by the bloodshed, the sahagin roars and counterattacks.
The trident swung around is too much for Asuka’s buckler to handle.
After deflecting two or three blows, it flies out of Asuka’s hand.
The sahagin, baring its fangs, chases after the girl who is retreating in a panic.
But, the monster couldn’t take a third step.
A spear of flame magic flew from afar, piercing its body and burying the pitiful sahagin in a pillar of fire.
The sudden magic attack, of course, was the work of Miliaria.
She and Meisha are providing support from a distance, without entering the battlefield.
The sahagins, not knowing where the attack came from, are distracted.
Seizing this opportunity, I shouted.
“Now’s our chance! Push them back! Wooooo!!”
The battle cry is more effective when someone with a hero’s talent does it, but it would be too much to ask of Asuka.
The humans who were being pushed back regain their breath.
The combined force is made up of a very small number of guards and a self-defense group formed by the people of the shopping district, with hardly any adventurers or mercenaries.
They are not used to fighting and can’t carry out efficient strategic actions. But their will to fight is high because they are defending their own town, which is why the battle has become chaotic.
And, since the sahagins are physically superior, they are inevitably pushed back.
It’s a pretty bad situation.
But, the momentum picked up because there are warriors who can defeat the sahagins.
They raise their clubs and axes and start to corner the monsters.
Miliaria’s magic hits them, and one by one, the sahagins are steadily defeated by the spear of flame.
Meisha’s long heal flies to the humans who are taking damage.
Of course, Asuka and I also swing our swords in all directions, defeating the fishmen one after another.
When one side gains momentum, the other side becomes frightened.
“The sahagins on the right are scared! Press on!”
The residents all respond and start to attack.
“Mommy Nel is amazing! We’re starting to push them back!”
Asuka, her face red with splattered blood, cheered.
She’s not particularly small, but the sahagins are big, so she inevitably gets covered in blood.
Even though she just took a bath, it’s decided that she’ll have to take another one.
Of course, me too.
“Don’t let your guard down. Sahagins don’t go berserk like goblins.”
While swinging my sword, I’m also desperately giving orders.
After all, the ones who can fight the most are the three girls, which is a rather laughable ally force.
“The center is collapsing! Push them out!!”
The only saving grace is the large number and high morale.
We have to use that efficiently.
“Right wing! Don’t pursue too far! Rather, fall back and draw out the enemy!”
“Roger that! Mr. Strategist!”
Somehow, the townspeople are following my instructions.
Even standing in the middle of the battlefield, I feel safe because I know Asuka will definitely protect my back.
“Just a little more! Just a little more and we’ll have victory!”
Swinging my broadsword like a conductor’s baton, I continued to inspire my allies.
In the end, after a long, long battle of over two hours, we succeeded in annihilating the sahagins.
It was a literal massacre.
That’s because sahagins don’t run away.
Even the last one will rampage, trying to take as many of us with it as possible.
They are troublesome monsters, extremely belligerent and bloodthirsty.
The sahagin that raided the town by Lake Mikasa numbered fifty. It was a number that could easily wipe out the entire town.
If we, the guards, and the members of the vigilante group had been defeated.
“Man, we really won, didn’t we. Seriously.”
I sat heavily on the ground of the shopping street littered with the bodies of both sahagin and humans, and let out a big sigh.
Finally, it was a situation where I could say things that suggested I wasn’t confident in our victory.
A commander must not predict defeat.
Because a battle in which that happens is sure to be lost.
Even if you predict victory, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll win, but if you say you’re going to lose, you’re sure to lose. It’s a strange law.
So I acted with full confidence, behaving defiantly all throughout the battle.
Even when I thought we were in trouble, I didn’t let it show in my voice or attitude.
It’s the job of a strategist to keep giving instructions to allies with a face that says, “It’s as expected, no problem.”
“Good work, Mommy Nel.”
Asuka offered me a cup of water.
She must have gotten it from someone in the shopping district.
Despite being exhausted herself, she was concerned about me.
That’s the kind of girl she is.
I thanked her and accepted it, then extended my right hand to Asuka.
“You did a nice fight, Asuka.”
The girl bumped her right fist against mine.