*step, step*

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They can hear the footsteps of four people walking in the forest.
This is the Rukia Forest in the Karam Region.
It’s a forest located just a stone’s throw away from the village of Roth, and at the same time, it’s forest where the existence of an Archfiend was confirmed.
It is a young forest with few large trees, but people rarely enter it, and there are barely any weed-covered animal paths.
The reason for the lack of human intervention might be the lack of resources.

There was no cleared ground and the forest was overgrown with knee-high grass.

「The sun is shining a little bit… the visibility isn’t so bad.
Lisa, how much can you detect?」

「It’s not possible to reach a radius of 50 meters even when Lisa is in a right frame of mind.
The radius may vary slightly.
There is no sign of the enemy to date, but I recommend proceeding with caution.」

Alfie, you’ll take care of Lisa and the back.」

「I know.」

It has already beem almost an hour since they entered the forest of Rukia.
The forest gradually gets deeper, but there is no sign of the enemy.
They left the village early in the morning, so the sun should be gradually rising but they can’t shake the dim impression.

「It’s not looking good…」

「Probably, I think it’s ward caused by a shadow fiend.
The forest is not very deep, but the sun does not shine strongly.」

「I know, Albert.
Why don’t you just sing a song and come out of there?」

「Why don’t you try it? I won’t stop you, Anorn.」

Alfiris adjusts her tone to Anorn’s light-hearted remark.
Anorn cuts back in defeat.

「If I sing, all the enemies will listen to me and there will be no fighting.
It’s better if Alfie sings.」

「Why me?」

「I mean, don’t you remember? The second time we met, I made you drink a lot and crushed you, right? I thought you were asleep at that time, but then you suddenly woke up.
You were singing『 Mr.
Forest Wolf』in a loud voice.
You don’t remember, do you?」

「…No way?」

She even sang a new song for me.」

「When you say『dubious』you mean…」

「Yes, it’s a limerick filled with xxx.」

「I, I can’t be bride anymore…」

Alfiris said half-heartedly.
The song was actually a lie, but it was so loud and so tone-deaf that the others tried to stop her, but she threw them all away.

In the end, the singing didn’t stop until Alfiris fell asleep again, and she remembered the owner working with a sad look on his face.
Anorn couldn’t resist putting in her earplugs and waiting in the tavern for Alfiris to fall asleep in a drunken stupor.

It was a masterpiece for Anorn, but she had brought it up because she was worried that the inexperienced Alfiris might be nervous but perhaps she didn’t need to worry about that.
Alfiris had not changed from her usual self, whether she was slow or strong.
As for Anorn, she could count on her, but she wondered if she had any reason to believe that she could behave normally.
As they walked along making a small talk, Lisa noticed that the atmosphere had suddenly changed.

「… Everyone, this is strange.」

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Lisa whispered.

「…Ahh, you’re definitely right.」

「There’s been no signs of any animals or even birds for some time now.」

「They’re coming, right?」

「They’re coming from… everywhere.」

The playful expression disappears from everyone’s face.
With their weapons at the ready, Albert deploys to the right and Anorn to the left, while Alfiris and Lisa step back slightly.
Anorn seems to be holding something in her mouth.

「Anorn, what’s that?」

「It’s a mouthpiece.
If I don’t wear it, I step on it too hard and my teeth would crack.」

Alfiris was about to say something, but she no longer had time to do so.

「Lisa, any sign of the enemy?」

「No, not yet… but I can feel them.」

I’m feeling it too.」

「Be careful, Alfie… I think they’re coming from all directions except the back.」

Alfiris keeps her arrows ready to fire at any moment.
As if to speed up the response, her breathing becomes slightly faster and shallower.
She can feel her heart beating a step faster.

「Alfie! Down here!」

Lisa shouted.
But which was faster? Alfiris threw her bow, drew her sword, and thrust it at the giant worm-like fiend that was trying to come out of the ground.

「It’s an earthworm!」

As soon as she said that, enemies came at her from all directions.
Goblins attacked from above Albert’s head, and earthworms attacked from around Anorn.
Orcs attacked from both sides, shouting strangely.
The variety of demons is truly diverse.

「This is the army of Archfiend…!」

「Hmph, you little shit!」

Anorn took a swing of her mace and the earthworms around her were instantly cleaved away.
She turned to the orcs,

「One, two!!!」

She can almost hear sound of Anorn gritting her teeth as she crunches her way to Alfiris.
With that momentum, Anorn swung her hammer-like mace at the orc’s throat.
The orc tries to catch her with its club, but—


The top of the lead orc’s head was completely blown off and gone with popping sound.
In fact, the club that the orc was holding blew backwards, knocking down the orcs behind them.
Somewhat later, the wreckage and blood that risen above the blown-up orc fell like rain.
The orcs finally came to their senses and went into panic, but it was already too late.

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「Come on!」

Each time Anorn swung her mace while shouting, the orc’s head, arms, and weapons that it tried to defend against were blown away without regard for the orc’s head.

Orcs are larger and more powerful than humans, but they are much less intelligent.
It is said that the only things they can think about are fighting, sleeping and reproduction, and once they get into a fight, they are said to be so excited that they forget themselves and rush at their enemies until they die.
It seems that their instincts are well developed despite their low intelligence, and they must have realized that the woman in front of them was no ordinary opponent.
Anorn, who rushed forward while being bathed in the blood of orcs, was more like a demon.
At that moment, Anorn suddenly stumbled over something as she rushed forward.

「Watch out!」

Anorn stumbled over a treant’s root.
The branch tried to wrap itself to Anorn.

「This is tricky, however—! I’ve heard that they’ve been showing up at Alfie’s, so I’m taking precautions, okay?」

Anorn threw a vial of something at the treant.
At that moment, it suddenly began to suffer.

「It’s a herbicide.
But it’s strong enough to kill a big tree!」

She brought her mace back up and hit the treant with it.
A muffled sound was heard and a vertical crack appeared.

「One more!」

She also gave her all with a powerful blow that ripped the treant in half and shattered it.

「Anorn, that’s amazing! …How about Albert!?」

What Alfiris saw when turned around was an even more startling sight.


Albert shakes off the gore from his sword.
At his feet was a pile of goblin corpses that he was too lazy to count.
There must be more than thirty already.

There were probably dozens more goblins, but all of them were hesitant to pounce at Albert.
Albert quickly sees this and without waiting for the goblins to move, he slashes at them.
From that point on, it was a tremendous battle.
No, it was a scene close to a massacre.

With one swing of Albert’s sword, three or four goblins fell, on rather, were obliterated.
The goblins were slightly smaller than humans.
One of the astonishing moments was when they cut down a goblin that was trying to hide behind a tree.
The tree seemed to be so thick that even Alfiris hugged it, she couldn’t get her hands around of it, but she was one hell of a swordswoman.

Many of the goblins begin to flee.
Just then, something grabbed one of the goblins by the head and squeezed it.

「It’s the Cyclops!」

「No, it’s a Gigantes, a higher form of it.
I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I’m not the only one who’s a bit of an idiot and can’t use a weapon, but that one does have a hammer, doesn’t it?」

Anorn, who had already cleaned up the left side, was coming back.

「We have to join them.」

「I don’t think I need to do it.
I’m not a Lazaar.」

「B—But they’re so different in size, aren’t they?」

Gigantes is more than three meters tall.
The hammer in its hand is already bigger than Albert’s.

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「Well, just watch.
All of Lazaar’s people are not normal.
After, the first one is a swordsman who singlehandedly wiped out the Archfiend’s arms and even the hunted the Archfiend.」


「Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but a swordsman who came from slavery became the captain of the Kingsguard of Temple Order? And the vote was unanimous.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they really did something like that, since they were able to move those hardheaded church members.

And Albert is called the strongest of all of them.
If we hadn’t been nearby this time, he might have completed this mission alone.
So don’t worry about it.

The moment Anorn’s story was cut short, the two bodies moved.
Both of them swung their prey from the upper level, and their prey crossed each other – but the sword that Albert swung down completely dented the hilt of Gigantes’ hammer and sliced through Gigantes’ waist.
In a moment of desperation, it jumped into the air just as Gigantes fell to its knees, and with a sword that cut back from the bottom up, he separated Gigantes’ neck and body.

Returned blood splattered Albert.

「I can’t believe you could do that with a sword that doesn’t have any weight on it…」

「That’s brilliant.」

However, Albert is still on his toes.
Seeing this, the others suddenly regained their alertness.
At the same moment, Alfiris and the others jumped at the same time.

With a loud explosion and a blast of wind, a hand of fire rises in the place where Alfiris and the others were.
It was a fire-based magic.
Where did they come from? But before they can even think about it, Alfiris is searching for the enemy’s location while darting her arrows.


Alfiris shoots an arrow imbued with magic.
The target was about 50 meters away.
A demonic-looking monster with horns on its head.
It seems to be in the role of a commander.
The monster tried to avoid Alfiris’ arrow.
The average power in this era has a killing power of about 20 meters and flies only in a straight line, so it would not normally bit from such a long distance, but Alfiris’ arrows are enhanced with wind magic.

The arrow bends in the air in an impossible direction and strikes the fiend.
The fiend seemed to be taken aback, but as expected, it reacted sharply and used its arm as a shield to avoid a fatal wound.

「You can’t hit it with a single shot at this distance, after all.」

But while Alfiris was saying that, Anorn and Albert were already closing the distance towards the fiend.
Just as the fiend was about to reposition itself to face Albert,


A new horn sprouted on the fiend’s head with a sound like ripping flesh.
No, in a closer observation, it looks like a blade from behind a tree.

「Who is… uh, Lisa?」

「This place is appetizing, I’ll take it.」

Before he knew it, Lisa was standing behind the fiend.
It was the same time that Alfiris realized this fact and the fiend fell with a thud.

Apparently, a blade was planted in the white came that indicated Lisa’s blindness.
But when had she gotten behind it?

Lisa came back to Alfiris and the others, wiping the gore with a leaf.

「Alfiris, you can’t afford to lose me.」

「Yeah, but you were behind me earlier…」

「It’s an application of the Sensor ability, isn’t it?」

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Anorn looked at Lisa with an impressed look at her face.
Lisa gave a small nod,

If you can sense the presence of others, you can also do the opposite.
I’ve made it extremely difficult to find me by suppressing your senses as opposed to letting them free.」

She replied.
Albert seemed to be convinced, but Alfiris, who had never heard of Sensors before, rolled her eyes.

「How is that even possible?」

「You read that the commander would be there from the beginning didn’t you?」

The way the fiends attacked was so uniform that when the earthworms appeared, I probed them first and sneaked around behind them.
Fortunately, it was humanoid, so I was able to finish it off.」

「That’s quite a feat.」

「I’m flattered, Sister.」

Lisa bowed to Anorn, but Alfiris came to her with a bang.

「Well, that’s the thing…」

Alfiris looks uncomfortable because she is right.
But seeing Alfiris in such a state, Lisa went after her even more.

「If Lisa were really just a weak girl and clung to you, the two of us would be blackened by now.
It is true that big women are dull in many ways, isn’t it? I’m so tired.」


「But it was a good time to shoot the arrow,, and my aim was good, so let’s just say that I don’t owe you anything this time.
Without those arrows, you couldn’t have hit it from behind.
Thank you Lisa for your generosity!」

「I wonder why I should be grateful to you…」

Haa— Alfiris sighed.

「Don’t get distracted.
This is just the prelude.」

「That’s what I mean.
If it was an opponent of this caliber, the investigation team would probably come back with at least one person, and the Archfiend might be a pretty big deal.
There were advanced fiends under its command that used magic, you know?」

The two people, Albert and Anorn looked grim.
Lisa reacted quickly as well.

「Looks like it.
The big one is coming.
Azimuth one o’clock distance 70 meters.」

「Here comes the commander! My arms are ringing.」

「Alfiris-sama, stand back.
Apparently, it’s quite large.」

Lisa, let’s keep our distance.」

Leaving Albert and Anorn in the vanguard, Alfiris and Lisa moved back a little.
Not long after, they began to hear a cracking sound of a tree being knocked down.
It was something… that could knock down a huge tree was advancing towards Alfiris and the others.

The tension in the area was rising, but Alfiris’ instincts told her that she was in the greatest danger she had ever known.
The hairs on her skin stood on end and would not go away.
She wondered if there was some shivering in her body.
And then it appeared in front of Alfiris and the others.

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