After fighting off the group of monsters, Alvin and the other members of <Running Wolves>, the staff of the Hateyama branch, and the reinforcement adventurers returned to the Hateyama branch and gathered together to clean up after the battle. Some of them are treating their injured comrades, others are checking their equipment, and still others are exchanging information.
「Shinji, everyone! Sorry to keep you waiting ♪ I'm glad we got through this」
「Thank you, Master. To be honest, it was pretty tough」
「You've been fighting all morning, right? There's a party of six coming with me, so I think you can get some rest」
「Some people got injured and couldn't fight, so it was good timing」
Emily's words brought a sigh of relief to Alvin and the others. Fortunately, Alvin and the others are not seriously injured, but some of the Hateyama staff are deeply wounded. Recovery magic can heal their injuries, but it cannot restore their lost blood or strength. They must rest before they can return to the front. It is obvious that without the reinforcements, they would have been in danger of losing their strength.
「Emily, is this the only reinforcement?」
「Hmm. It'll probably be a while before they reach the other places. I heard that a group of knights are marching from Nord town at the request of the branch leader...」
「I see... that's tough...」
The teleportation magic at the Adventurer's Guild can't transfer a large number of people and can't be used continuously. Moreover, it is still in the process of development and has not been adopted into the kingdom's army.
So, no matter how hastily the knights departed from the capital, it would take a long time. There is no way that a team of only six can defeat all the monsters that have overflowed Hateyama. Even the Hateyama branch was being overwhelmed by the sheer number of monsters. The open field would be much tougher, and some villages would probably be destroyed, Shinji thought.
「If we don't do something about the dragon soon... the monster will keep coming out of Hateyama...」
「The damage keeps spreading, huh. Damn it...!」
Alvin muttered in frustration while clenching his fists beside the pained Milis. But Alvin and the others can't climb the mountain without permission. Not only is it impossible to get permission, but it would be too reckless to attempt it alone, considering the danger of being surrounded by monster in the middle are.
The only thing <Running Wolves> could do now is to join the defense of the Hateyama branch.
On the other hand, Mizer is also pondering. The sight of a greater number of monster than expected descending the mountain one after another is nothing short of bizarre.
Normally, driven monsters would flee in all directions. If they had gone north, west, or east of Hateyama, there would have been no problem because there are is no villages, but why there are so many of them that they are only going south.
（I don't think this is a coincidence. But how on earth... no, I'll discuss that later. If we don't do something about the dragon that's chasing us off, we might be outnumbered...）
Fortunately, a party of adventurers came rushing to aid. If they can hold out for a day, they can expect more reinforcements. If they can do that, they can have the adventurers protect the Hateyama branch while the entire Hateyama staff goes out to kill the dragon, Mizer thought.
「Iren-kun, what happened?」
「...A letter from the team that went to the southeast and southwest. It was tied to the guild runner that returned to the branch」
When Mizer received the letter from Iren, who had returned from King's Capital, he checked the contents and found a simple sentence: "There are too many monsters to protect the village. Evacuate the villagers to Nord Town". After read it, Mizer can only pray that the knights will reach the staff who are doing their best to save as many people as possible as soon as possible.
「There's a horde of monsters coming!」
「Is the fourth wave already coming...?」
The shouts of the adventurers on guard made Mizer frown. He had just survived three waves, and now he couldn't help but wonder if the next one is coming. But just as he is about to take immediate action, a member of the observation team came running in again. As they continued their observations, the team finally caught sight of the succubus controlling the dragon.
「Branch Leader! I see it! It's the demon's work! On the dragon's back! There is a female demon with wings and horns! The dragon seems to be under the control of that demon!」
「Well done! But... how can there be a demon that can control a dragon...」
The voice of the staff member who reported this echoed through the halls and Shinji could hear it. The adventurers are bewildered by the fact that it is the work of a demon, but they remember that a pack of monsters is attacking them and start to prepare to intercept them. Shinji instinctively knows that the commotion has something to do with the outside world because he cannot contact Goddess Arian even after half a day.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
The team departed from the Hateyama branch and fought hard against the swarm of demons. However, there are so many of them that they cannot cover the whole area. Their reach is too narrow and they inevitably missed. As a result, several villages are devastated by the monsters as time goes by.
The helpless villagers have no choice but to be attacked by the demons. They prayed to the goddesses for help, but the goddesses would not directly help them, and they scattered their lives while crying out in sorrow.
One by one, these small villages multiplied.
It's not every day that so many villages are destroyed, and the surveillance magic that had been cast on the world sent a signal to the head of Goddess Arian that an abnormal situation had occurred. Goddess Arian, who was confronting Goddess Satin, felt a bad premonition from that reaction.
（At this time...? Don't tell me... I've already been manipulated? How could that be...?）
Goddess Satin smiled wickedly at Goddess Arian's slight but agitated state. It's because she realized that the succubus manipulations that she had planted had begun.
「Hehe... maybe you should go back to the temple」
Goddess Arian did not respond to those words. She knew that if she turned away to go back to the temple, she would be shot in the back. Instead, Goddess Arian switched her attention from looking out for her surroundings to attacking in order to fight back. Goddess Arian judged that she would not be able to return to the temple in peace if she did not at least hurt her to the extent that she would not be able to mess with her.
「...Hehe, scary, scary」
Goddess Arian's magic power increases further.
However, it is inevitable that Goddess Arian will need some more time to return to the temple.
And now, things are going according to Goddess Satin's plan. But in order to blow away the slightest hint of unrest, Goddess Arian unleashes her offensive magic.
- The adventure part continues.
- The ruckus that began with the succubus's surprise attack has taken a backseat. Each of them is trying to make the best of it, and it seems that the cause has finally been discovered.
- The goddess
cannot return to the temple and cannot give the oracle.