677 – A Certain Girl and Jornes’ Vanguard (side: Miria)
“Wh-what do we do…?”
I retreat inside the house and clutch my head.
No mere human could possibly hope to stand up to Jornes. The entire city is enclosed by her barrier, so there’s no running away. Countless creepy monstrosity are swarming over the city due to her [Nirvana].
“W-we just need to wait for Saint Lilixira to come back! Even if she hasn’t finished her dragon hunt, there’s a good chance she’ll turn around once she hears the situation.”
Meltia-san says, noticing my despair.
“But staying hidden from the monsters won’t be easy. There’s no telling how long it’ll take her to get here…”
Besides, even if she does return, I don’t think she would stand a chance against Jornes. If I remember correctly, Saint Lilixira is supposedly has equivalent power to an A rank dragon.
But Jornes is clearly on another level. If Saint Lilixira is a mage on the level of a high ranking dragon, then Jornes is on the level of a god. Saint Lilixira wouldn’t be able to destroy the city in a matter of minutes like this.
“There’s… nothing we can do. Even if we try to resist, it would just prolong the terror… There’s no one stronger than Jornes-sama in all the world.”
The old woman says, her face pale.
Suddenly, the door smashes in. A long-necked figure with an upside-down face pushes its way into the house. It’s one of the monsters made from [Nirvana].
“Miria, use [Clay Shield]!”
“Eh…? R-right! [Clay Shield]!”
As instructed, I produce a [Clay Shield], which appears between us and the monster. Meltia-san swiftly steps up to my side and kicks the shield forwards.
Unable to dodge in the cramped interior, the monster elects to block, reaching out both its arms to stop the shield.
“It’s straining… Its level isn’t too high! We can do this!”
Meltia-san points her sword at the monster.
Light bursts from her blade, flying towards the monster in three clusters of heat. I point my staff at it too.
Its hands occupied by my shield, the monster is unable to react in time as our attacks strike its neck. The [Lucent Luna] breaks its balance, and then my [Fire Sphere] blasts it away. It slumps down and stops moving, a crack visible in its neck.
“As I thought, its level isn’t too high. It’s about D rank… No, it might even be a little lower. I hate to think it, but maybe their strength is based on the level they had in life.”
Metia-san says, wiping the sweat from her forehead.
I didn’t understand her plan at first, but since it had a long neck, she must have judged that it wouldn’t be able to defend its weak point if we threw a shield at it. Combined with her ability to quickly judge its rank, it goes to show how much longer she’s been an adventurer than me.
“It didn’t seem to have any unusual skills. Same for the ones I’m seeing outside. Of course, there’s a good chance their levels and skills vary, so we can’t be optimistic.”
Meltia stands in front of the destroyed door and peers outside.
“Let’s gather people somewhere that has food. We can’t let the survivors wander around outside, since there’s no telling when that rain could come again. We also need to burn, bury, or carry inside any more dead bodies we find outside, so that red light doesn’t make more. Though we’ll run out of mana if we keep having to fight, so we should hole up and take turns keeping watch.”
Meltia-san says, speaking quickly.
Moreso than telling me, I think she’s speaking out loud to organise her thoughts. It’s a hopeless situation, but she’s still trying to stay calm.
I also can’t let myself be swept away. I shake my head, trying to dispel some of the dread overwhelming me.
“….That’s right. All we can do is wait for Saint Lilixira and the Holy Knights to return.”
The chance is low that Saint Lilixira will be able to do anything. But, we’ve no choice but to bet on it all the same.
“No, if we gather enough strength, we might actually be able to mount a counterattack.”
I can’t help but doubt my ears.
“Look, Miria. The all-important Jornes is doing nothing but float above the statue. If she really was powerful, then she wouldn’t leave killing us to those monsters.”
“That… might be true, but…”
“That magic attack at the start was just a bluff. The rain was wide-scale, but it looks like all it did was apply instant death and curse. It didn’t do any damage to the buildings or ground.”
Certainly, that rain seemed harmless to anything other than to living organisms. That’s why I was able to block it with [Clay Shield].
“Jornes might be lacking means of attacking directly. Besides, the fact that she’s staying so high out of reach means she’s worried about being attacked. She’s probably not too powerful by herself. If we gather enough fighters, it might be possible to take her down. She’s just a human, not a dragon or giant monster. No matter how powerful her magic, she’s not unbeatable if we surround her.”
“I-is that true…? But the magic she used to blast away the statue’s head…”
“That’s definitely a threat. But, compared to the rain, the scale is way smaller. Even without the Holy Knights around, the warrior priests of Liarm are much higher level than your everyday adventurer. The situation is definitely bad. But, we’re trapped in here with thousands of D rank monsters. The more time passes, the more we’ll lose the ability to strike back.”
I stand by her side and look up at the sky. Jornes is looking down on the Holy City with cold eyes. I can’t help but wonder why she’s not making it rain again, or shooting out more of that rainbow light.
Maybe it’s not that she can’t, but rather she’s choosing not to…?
Is she worried about running out of mana? The scale of her magic was gigantic. I’m sure the mana cost can’t have been light.
Is she saving her strength for fighting Saint Lilixira? No, even then it feels like she’s taking it too leisurely. But, I can’t imagine she’s worried about the warrior priests like Meltia-san thinks.
Does she have something to gain by taking her time in destroying Liarm?
“…It’s almost like she’s threatening someone to make them hurry.”
“Did you say something? Miria?”
“I understand why you’re hesitant to fight back. I don’t want to fight back without a plan either. Let’s gather people together and make a base… Once we have enough fighters and have gained some more information about Jornes, we can think about it then.”