──The defeated soldiers spread around the port town of Roundheart.
All of them were Heim’s soldiers, but some of them had spirit.
They were led by a general who was filled with patriotism for his homeland, Heim, and who was willing to fight to the bitter end.
They had come to the port town of Roundheart to pursue the forces of Ishtalika, which had begun to retreat.
They enter the town.
The general, riding in the lead, suddenly stopped at the entrance to the town.
“Sorry, you can’t get through here. When it comes to close combat, I will not lag behind, even if my opponent is Arche.”
Numerous bodies piled up on the ground.
All of them belonged to the soldiers of Heim who had been riding their horses earlier.
Sitting on top of the pile of bodies was a huge man covered in jet-black armor. He raised his hand toward the sky, and in the man’s hand was a huge sword.
“I, the honorable Kingdom of Heim──”
“I don’t need your name. If you intend to fight, draw your sword. But if you do, be prepared. I will use that as my cue to swing my sword.”
“…You have the insolence to interrupt my name!”
“Don’t be offended. You’re all only small demons. No matter how many beasts you become, it makes no difference to you how you end up.”
He stood up lazily, disgracing all of Heim’s army at once.
Then he glared at the Heim soldiers with piercing eyes.
They all realized by instinct how strong he was, but they were determined to fight to the end.
Before anyone else, the general drew his sword and──.
Yes, the moment he pulled it out.
Ramza disappeared from the pile of bodies and found himself behind the general.
He swung his sword without hesitation and cut the general’s body in two.
“──You should keep a close eye. This is the unrivaled king of swords.”
Each word weighed heavily on the Heim soldiers, and they were terrified to the depths of their hearts.
Without exception, their bodies were covered in sweat, and their limbs trembled silently.
“──You should keep a close eye. Nothing is allowed to stand in front of it.”
Perhaps it was instinct?
The soldiers of Heim, influenced by Shannon, are naturally awe-struck.
At the same time, Ramza raised his sword to the sky and swung it down toward the great army of Heim.
“Reflected in your eyes is the most powerful swordsman in the world. Do not hesitate to rejoice, gasp for joy, and use it to pay for your passage to the underworld.”
The most powerful sword, which can kill a sea dragon with a single stroke, struck at the great army of Heim.
A ray of light falls on the cloudy port town of Roundheart.
It is a power beyond human knowledge.
Even if one spent one’s entire lifetime training, it was a height that could not be reached, and it would be folly to face it even with the technology of the United Nation of Ishtalika that has been built up so far.
◇ ◇ ◇
In the direction Misty was looking, there is the Gluttonous World Tree that continued to grow in size.
Deeply rooted and entwined with ivy throughout the city, it exudes a luscious fragrance. It is sweet, fragrant, and somewhat bitter, yet it has a delicious taste that makes one salivate.
“Hurry up! Retreat to the battleship quickly!”
“Wait a minute, Your Excellency the Marshal! I know it’s only a matter of time before we join up, but those soldiers of Heim are getting in the way too much…!”
The army of Ishtalika was coming from the direction of the royal capital. Leading the way were two men, Lloyd and Majolica.
They were riding in a great hurry with all the surviving knights to retreat to the battleship. However, their path was obstructed by the soldiers of Heim who had gathered in their way so that they could not keep their course.
“I guess I just have to protect those children, huh?”
Misty pulled a gorgeous staff out of nowhere and waved it lightly. Then a strong wind blew around her, causing Heim’s army to notice Misty.
“What is it, that woman?”
“Hehehe! First come, first served!”
The Heim soldiers shouted in an obvious manner, and with eyes like hyenas, they looked at Misty accusingly.
But Misty, on the other hand, is probably used to the male gaze and didn’t pay any attention to them.
“Who is that woman…? Hurry up, everyone! We have to get her out of there!”
Lloyd, the leader of Ishtalika’s army that continues to retreat, notices Misty and increases the speed of his horse.
“He is the marshal Lloyd, isn’t he? Well, I’ll have to help him out.”
The dusty battlefield was filled with a gentle breeze, but only Misty’s surroundings were calm. It was as if she was hosting a tea party, giving everyone the illusion of elegance and euphony.
However, there are always tactless people, and the soldiers of Heim, lured by Misty’s glamour, push out their vulgar desires.
“Ora! I’ll take that body of──!?”
Without being able to satisfy his desire, the feeling of fingertip movement disappeared from the muscular arm that he had raised.
The Heim soldier’s fingertips crumbled into shiny sand… that looked like glass.
It was a chain of events that gradually led to the elbow.
And then… to the shoulder.
“Hyii──! Don’t come! Don’t come any closer!”
“I won’t come near you. I’m not interested.”
It is difficult to describe the end of the soldiers of Heim.
Frightened, his entire body turned to sand, and he disappeared, driven by the winds that kept blowing around him.
The sight of the sand flying away is breathtaking, like snow reflecting the light in the middle of winter.
“Hurry up and go.”
Lloyd nodded quickly, though he had not yet decided whether she was a friend or foe.
“Hurry up. We’re going to run to the battleship.”
“L-Lloyd-sama! Are you sure?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know, but… I felt a compassionate love from that woman, just like that of my late mother.”
Did the war cause him to lose his mind?
With all due respect, the royal knights had this sense of crisis toward Lloyd. But Lloyd’s eyes remained as heroic and stern as ever.
…..Afterward, they then…
In a great hurry, they stepped into the port town of Roundheart, and with the King of Swords rampaging by their side, they boarded the battleship where their allies were waiting for them.
Then they retreated to Leviathan with the two rescued members of Archduke Augusto’s family.
◇ ◇ ◇
Having nearly died, Lloyd’s body was near its limit as he hurried his horse along.
But without a moment’s rest, he headed for the wheelhouse with full stride.
With several royal knights in tow, he hurried to confirm the information.
“Marshal Lloyd has returned to the ship.”
The first thing that caught Lloyd’s attention was the sight of Lily. She was standing by the window with her hand over her mouth, but when she heard Lloyd’s voice, she approached him with a panicked look on her face.
“Lloyd-sama! Thank goodness… you survived…!”
“I survived because I was saved. Then, I would like to ask you how you are doing here. The woman I met on the way here is one thing… but the knight who’s running amok over there is another…?”
Lloyd said, pointing in the direction of the port town of Roundheart.
“As it turns out, I don’t think I understand it either.”
“I don’t know how to say this, but I’ll try to explain it in short…”
Lily told what happened afterward when a giant Kraken appeared.
“A man with silver hair suddenly appeared and sank the Kraken, then ran out into the port town. I really don’t know what happened.”
“I see. I get it. But it is something I don’t fully understand.”
Lily let out a dry smile at Lloyd’s answer.
“By the way… how about the red fox…”
“I’ve heard from Majolica-dono that she has been defeated.”
“That means we won!”
The whole crew, as well as Lily, were delighted when they were told that the red fox, which was their main concern, had been solved.
However, Lily was not fully overjoyed.
If that is the case, why is he not here?
“Where is Ain-sama?”
She asked Lloyd in a more firm voice than before, as if she was trying to get him to answer. This made Lloyd bitter, and he looked as if he was about to cry, and his eyes were downcast.
The royal knights also turned their heads in unison.
“I don’t understand. All I heard is that he is alive.”
Lily approached Lloyd, put her hand on his shoulder, and shook his body.
It was extremely disrespectful considering her position, but there was no one to blame Lily now.
“Ara, you look so scared!”
Then, Misty came in with a self-assured look on her face.
“You seem to be concerned about a lot of things, but you’re injured, too, aren’t you? Come on, let’s calm down.”
Misty’s words were like a drug.
When they sink into the marrow of one’s brain──they make you feel like you have to obey her voice.
“D-don’t touch me so suddenly! Who are you anyway?”
“My name is Misty. Nice to meet you.”
“Oh, yes, how polite of you──That’s not it!”
No matter how politely she greeted her, Lily’s doubts were by no means resolved.
But Misty turned around and called out to the crew without worrying about Lily.
“The crown prince has given his orders. As soon as the knights are on board, leave Heim quickly and retreat to the royal capital, Kingsland, at full speed. Now, proceed.”
After giving the order by herself, Misty turned around and looked at Lloyd and the others.
It was strange that the crew listened to her so obediently…
“What did you order them to do without permission…? Ain-sama has not returned yet! Besides, you have no right to give us orders! Why do you keep silent, too, Lloyd-sama? No matter what Ain-sama ordered Majolica-san to do, it’s not a reason to leave Ain-sama behind, is it?”
She asked him sternly, which was unusual for her.
“Ain-kun is in a situation that you can no longer handle. That’s why he sent you away from Heim’s royal capital.”
“H-huh…? We can’t handle it…?”
“And, as Marco told him over there, Ain-kun is alive.”
Hearing that he is alive again, Lily’s piercing tone changes.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. ──Also, I’m not so naive as to believe the words of a total stranger.”
But Lily’s eyebrows are furrowed in alarm, and she doesn’t seem to be letting up in the slightest.
Lloyd, on the other hand, was surprisingly calm.
The fact that everyone was listening to a strange woman’s orders was unusual, and it suddenly reminded him of an old memory.
It was the time of the Sea Dragon incident, as he recalled.
“That day, Ain-sama restrained me and all the other knights when he tried to leave the castle. It is gentle compared to that, but I sense something similar in your voice.”
“In addition, I believe I have seen you in an old book.”
“I’m glad you’re getting things done so quickly. Now then, would you lend me a quiet room?”
“Lily. Let’s move. It seems this lady will be giving us a briefing.”
“Even Lloyd-sama…! Geez! I don’t care anymore!”
Frustrated, Lily, walking with a large gait, opened the door to the wheelhouse and led the way for the two.
It was here that she noticed the Leviathan had sailed away.
“Is the silver-haired man who was with you not coming?”
“The silver-haired man… Do you mean Ramza? He will come later, so don’t worry about him.”
To Lily’s simple question, Misty answered simply with a kindly expression.
“Even if you say he will come back later, once the battleships are in total retreat…”
“It’ll be fine. He will either swim or catch a fish and get on it, so I’ve heard.”
Lily and Lloyd were taken aback but hastily regained their composure and led Misty to another room.
“By the way, Lloyd-sama, I’m surprised you survived. Didn’t you encounter Edward as you were retreating?”
“Huh? I-I’m really amazed you survived…!?”
“…I told you, I survived because I was saved.”
Lloyd recalled this and told Lily.
When in desperate need of help, who came to the rescue?