Chapter 49.1 : The Town of Freedom Fighter
◆ Black Haired Sage, Chiyuki
「Did you just say the Pashipea Kingdom is under attack? 」
Reiji asked Clasus.
Reiji and I came to meet General Clasus again after receiving an emergency summons. He then proceeded to tell us about the member of the Ariad Union that was ransacked by a demon raid the previous night.
The Pashipea Kingdom was located in the northern area of the Minon Plain. Half its citizens had been taken away by the demons during the raid.
Clasus had received the news that morning and had immediately sent a messenger to inform us.
「Yes… This is an emergency.」
「By the way, why did you only call our group? There should be other heroes here, too.」
I asked Clasus after I noticed that there were only me, Reiji, Clasus, the Pashipea Princess Euria and five kids in the room.
Those kids and the princess were the only survivors of last night’s incident and only because they were out of the country.
The other heroes should be here as well.
Why were we the only ones called?
「It’s because Princess Euria herself recommended the Hero of Light.」
Clasus looked at Euria.
She was a buxom babe, with breasts probably as big as Sahoko’s. She had a calm and gentle face. I suspected she might be plumper than Sahoko, just a few kilos from what one would call “chubby”.
It seemed that she was related to Clasus. A member of a renowned house from the Ariadya Republic received similar treatment as the royalty of another country.
It was by pure chance that Euria came to visit Ariadya and thus was able to escape unscathed from last night’s incident.
She was also the one Reiji had saved yesterday.
She probably looked gloomy because her kingdom got raided last night.
「Truthfully… I felt that your party was more reliable than the other heroes. I heard that Saint-sama knocked down the Hero of Earth. I also heard that your group was the one that defeated the Mermen and the Centaurs that even the Heroes of Water and Wind couldn’t defeat.」
Come to think of it, I did hear that Sahoko pushed away from the Hero of Earth and somehow knocked him out.
「Yes, that’s why I recommended Reiji-sama.」
Clasus flashed a humble smile toward Reiji.
Interestingly enough, we were never informed about the activities of other Heroes. Although I knew a Freedom Fighter and a Hero-of-something were escorting the caravan, I never checked if they were helpful or not.
「Chiyuki. Let’s hear the story first. It seems like Euria’s country is in peril right now.」
As he spoke, Reiji looked at Euria.
Since her cleavage was quite exposed, I could tell that Reiji’s eyes were focused on that area.
Good grief, he really is a… [TL: Leecher]
「Ha~h…….. Well, let me hear the detailed account of this incident.」
I sighed and resigned myself to listen to the explanation.
Clasus promptly directed the conversation toward the small person sitting on top of the desk.
「Well then, Porom-dono. Please explain to us what happened last night.」
Porom was a member of the diminutive race known as the Pigmayoi.
Pigmayois were short and stocky by nature. Even the adults would only grow up to at most 35cm tall, hence why Porom was sitting on the desk.
They had the unique custom of raising a crane-like bird and later turning that bird into a mount.
Mostly, they lived nomadic lives, migrating from place to place according to the seasons.
But there were exceptions.
Some Pigmayois had a good relationship with humans. Those settled in human cities and lived on the top tower of the ramparts, and they opened a postal service as their business.
Some Pigmayoi also lived on the top towers of the rampart, back in the Holy Republic of Lenaria. They took custody of the letters from the humans and sent them all over the neighboring kingdoms.
Porom used to live in the rampart tower of the Pashipea Kingdom.
「It all happened while I was preparing to sleep. I suddenly heard screams coming from the garrison. When I took a looked, I saw the rampart completely surrounded by a large number of Goblins and Orcs. I took my wife and we escaped that place by riding our fowl.」
Despite reliving a terrible memory, Porom explained what happened in a very calm tone.
So the Demon Army was big enough to surround the kingdom. Their numbers must be great to achieve such a feat.
「Armies of Goblins and Orcs, huh… From where in the world did such a huge army come from? 」
The Minon Plain should be a region with little demon activity.
Where did the huge army come from?
「Sage-dono. I cannot say anything about the Orcs but I have an inkling as to where the Goblins came from. According to our investigation, all the Goblin slaves from the agricultural areas of the Pashipea Kingdom have escaped. They are now probably part of that army.」
Clasus gave his input on the situation and I didn’t feel like adding anything to his words.
The Pashipea Kingdom, located in northern Ariadya, boasted large scale farming by utilizing a slavery system. The Goblin slaves did their jobs at night since they were pretty much useless during the day.
Truthfully, Goblins weren’t suited for farm work. However, they could do simple farming tasks. As long as they used the Goblin slaves, the price of agricultural products could be suppressed to a minimum.
And there were a lot of Goblins in the region.
But the agricultural management through slavery didn’t sit well with me.
Not to mention how troublesome it would be if we stopped such a system by force, the ones who would suffer the most were the people who earned low wages.
Which should I protect, the living conditions of the humans or the Goblins’ rights?
… Good grief. Why did I have to worry about such things? I disgusted myself.
Reiji would never worry about such things. The lives of cute girls were much more important to him, after all.
As if he’d bother considering the rights of Goblins.
His protection is restricted to the female part of humanity, after all.
「I see… Now I understand. Did you notice any other race among the raiding demons last night? I mean… It’s common knowledge that Orcs don’t live in flocks, so someone must have been leading them. Did you notice someone suspicious? 」
I asked Porom about any superior races that might have mingled with the raiding demons.
The strangest part was that there was no one commanding those demons last night and yet those Goblins and Orcs were incredibly organized. In fact, we had faced that kind of army back in Nargol, but they were led by superior demons then.
So, even if there were no superior Orcs species in the Pashipea attack, someone must have been leading them.
「Yes… I saw Minotaurs among the demons. They seemed to be leading them.」
I’ve heard that Pigmayois had excellent night vision, so I didn’t doubt Porom’s words.
We had yet to meet any Minotaurs since we arrived in this world. We had little to no information about that race.
「Sometimes Minotaurs come out of the labyrinth and attack any surrounding countries, but… This is the first time they attacked at such a scale.」
What Clasus was trying to say was: Minotaurs attacking the surrounding countries weren’t a huge problem when considering the scale of the Ariad Union, because the number of Minotaurs was small.
But it’s a different story if they almost destroyed a country.
That might involve the survival of the Ariad Union.
Clasus turned to Porom.
「Well, then. Porom-dono, please explain that matter to Chiyuki-dono.」
「Ah, come to think of it… 」
「Is there something you’re worried about? 」
「Yes, well… After the monsters destroyed the rampart, they left and took the citizens with them.」
「So you’re wondering where they’re taking those citizens to? 」
「Yes. I observed the situation while my wife went to call for help from another country. They appeared to be taken into the labyrinth.」
「Yes, the labyrinth.」
There should be only a small number of demons in the region but, somewhere, they were gathering in large numbers. And that place was a certain labyrinth in the middle of the Minon Plain.
Numerous Minotaurs lived inside the labyrinth, with only one or two occasionally coming out to lead an attack on human settlements.
The attacks were usually so small in scale that it never caused any considerable damage. It must be why they couldn’t believe the news of a large scale attack happening.
A thought suddenly crossed my mind.
「Could it be that the Minotaurs weren’t the masterminds behind this attack? 」
Clasus nodded in agreement.
「The possibility of that is high. However, I cannot fathom why they decided now, of all times, to employ such a large attack. Well, it can’t be helped since it was done by those mindless demons. But… Shouldn’t we save the citizens?」
There were Ariadya citizens among the Pashipeans, after all. Naturally, Clasus would try his best to save those citizens.
Thus, he asks for Reiji’s help.
Even Euria, who had been silent so far, kneeled in front of Reiji to plead to him.
「Please, Reiji-sama!! Please save the citizens of my kingdom! 」
「Don’t worry, Euria. I will save them.」
Reiji stood and held Euria’s hands with his own.
Euria started to cry.
「It’s decided, Chiyuki. Let’s go to the Minotaur labyrinth.」
Reiji proclaimed as he looked at me.
What a pain. Is it okay for you to promise to save those people even when we don’t know anything about that labyrinth?
The same thing happened with Rena.
As long as the request came from a cute girl, he’d rush to do it regardless of the consequences. [TL: So Reiji is the one at fault huh, sorry Chiyuki, I used to be so harsh on you]
Well, since he decided to go, then the other girls will surely go with him. Thus, I had no choice but to follow them.
「Understood, Clasus-dono. But we don’t know much about that labyrinth, so please introduce us to someone who’s knowledgeable about it.」
「Yes, of course. Let me call the city of Teseshia and get you a letter of introduction. With it, you’ll be able to contact someone who knows about that place.」
「The city of Teseshia? 」
「Yes, the city of Teseshia. It’s the city of Freedom Fighters created by our Republic Ariadya for dealing with labyrinth monsters.」
「Of course, I’ll call for the other Heroes and the Freedom Fighters to assist Reiji-dono. What do you think, Reiji-dono? Please, save Pashipea… No. Please save the Ariad Union!!」
Clasus bowed again to Reiji and I silently looked at him with a somewhat indescribable feeling in my heart.