After escaping from the angry Iwao, Shinji and the others use magic to escape from the castle. Then, using the luggage they have left behind as a mark, they move to the storage room near the entrance of the castle. As the others quickly secure their belongings, Shinji looks back at his own words, but he does not know why he had provoked the others' anger.
「I tried to be polite, but I guess I offended him. I'm sorry, everyone. Does anyone know why?」
「Hmm, I didn't understand. Anyone know why?」
「No idea... Maybe there's something special going on」
「Maybe we should have gone into town to gather information first. I thought we'd have no problem just having a casual conversation...」
Emily and Lila shake their heads as they talk, Lili and Lilu following in their denial. Iris, who has finished checking her luggage, does the same, but she has already shifted her thoughts to the future.
「We should find out why later, desu. It is best not to make enemies, desu」
「You are absolutely right. This mistake has to be made up somewhere... Then, all we have to do is to put on our shoes at the entrance and then teleport to the altar room...」
Everyone had finished packing their belongings and was about to go to the entrance of the castle to take their shoes, but then Freri's thought reaches Shinji.
『Shinji. I can't use my teleport magic. I feel something strange. Be careful!』
Shinji raises his eyebrows at this unusually impatient thought. And that's almost the same time he noticed something was wrong.
「Shinji-san! There's a strange presence at the entrance!」
Not only Shinji, but also Lila, who had been paying attention to her surroundings, Iris, who was sensitive to the power of magic, and Emily, who intuitively sensed the danger, also noticed something strange. Emily is the first to run out of the storage room to serve as a shield and a sword for Shinji and the others, and Shinji and the others follow her.
When Emily runs into the entrance hall of the castle, which is as wide as a hall, she sees an oval-shaped hole in front of the shoe storage box, which is large enough for a person to pass through.
It was the first time Emily to see such a thing, but she instantly understood with an intuitive flash that the hole had the same function as the <World Gate>, and she held up her club with spikes which were her partner.
「...it is similar to the <World Gate>, desu」
Among Shinji and the others who had caught up with us, Iris was the first to recognize the nature of the hole. Hearing her words, everyone grabs their weapons and prepares for what is about to come out, when people appear through the hole.
They were dressed not only in white haori, but also in white kimonos and hakama, and all of them wore masks without patterns. They all held the same small daggers in their hands, and were of the same height and build, with a slight bulge in their chests indicating that they were women. After about ten people emerged from the black hole, the hole closed.
「They all fit the description. Capture them」
Before Shinji can open his mouth to speak, the leader of the masked group gives a command, and the group moves in unison. If this is the case, Shinji and the others will show no mercy. Adventurers are not so lenient as to give in to those who attack them with clear hostile intent.
Seeing Emily at the head of the group as the strongest, four of the group head for her, while the other six pass by, aiming at Shinji and Iris, who are at the tail end of the group and holding the staff. However, the three elven sisters, Lila, Lili, and Lilu, stood in between them.
「We won't let you go behind us, okay?」
Lila, with her long blonde hair fluttering in the wind, moves so quickly that the masked soldiers are bewildered. Thanks to Lila's <Self-Strengthening Magic>, which incorporates an increase in agility from wind magic, the effect is worthy of a high-ranking adventurer of the upper intermediate level.
In one hand, she holds a dagger shorter than a masked soldier's small dagger. However, Lila's dagger, clad in wind, has a longer reach than it looks. Then, with this dagger, she swung one at each masked soldier. The masked soldiers fell to the ground in a flash, their necks slashed and splattered with red.
「Your aim isn't badー」
「I think you're underestimating us?」
Lili, her blonde hair tied in a side-tail on the right side of her head, stepped in front of Lilu and held out her shield in her left hand. An invisible shield made of compressed wind called a <Wind Wall> appears, and when the four masked soldiers collide head-on, they are easily knocked away by the wind. Then, Lili approaches the masked soldiers, who are hit with such force that they are unable to defend themselves, and finishes them off with her right-hand spear.
In the process, Lilu, with her blond side-tail swinging to the left of her head, swings her curved sword on the spot, and a light green magic power is released from the sword. This magic was the same as Alvin's, and her <Magic Blade> sliced through the three masked soldiers.
On the other hand, Emily's red cloak flutters, and her strong arms groan. A sideways swipe blasts two of the masked figures together, creating a red stain on the wall. Aiming for an opening to swing her club, she ducks the third masked soldier's dagger with minimal movement, and her kick, with a power unimaginable for her slender frame, creates another red stain on the wall.
The last masked soldier succeeded in catching the club with a dagger she was holding. However, Emily's blow was not a blow that she could catch, and she was blown backward and rolled out through the wooden door that had been closed.
After the blown masked soldier, Emily walks out of the castle.
「There's no turn for us, desu」
『Freri, is the teleport not going to work yet?』
Shinji and Iris, who had been trying to use their magic according to the situation and increase their magical power, were out of action before the masked soldier was able to do anything. But then, Shinji follows after Emily while asking Freri with his thoughts, and Iris follows behind him.
『Not yet. If I use teleport now, I don't know if I can send you all properly, so it's dangerous.』
『Is it because of the black hole we saw earlier? Anyway, can you let me know when you can use the teleport? I'd like to get out of here as soon as possible.』
As Shinji and the others go outside, they hear Emily's voice as she follows the masked soldier outside.
「Shinji, we can't teleport yet?」
Emily's intuition tells her that the masked soldier in front of her prevents them from teleporting. So much so that her instincts were alerted by the strange presence of the last masked soldier.
「I asked Freri about it, but I guess it's still not working. This is a very bad day. I guess nothing but unexpected things are happening」
「It's interesting, desu. I'm very curious to know what kind of theory they are using to block the teleport, desu」
Shinji and Iris look over at the masked soldier who jumped up over Emily. The masked soldier, who is holding a broken dagger from Emily's blow, remains in a fighting posture even though she is cornered and only she was remain. Normally, she should surrender if she wants to live, but she does not.
（I wonder why. They don't react much... they don't seem intimidated by the prospect of death. They are just following the orders they are given...）
Anyway, if they are going to resist, they must be subdued. Iris nodded her head at Shinji's warning, and the two of them readied their staffs.
「<Mist of Sleep>」
Before the masked soldier could avoid it, an invisible force crushed her from above, forcing her to crawl to the ground. Then, a mist that, if inhaled, would induce a deep sleep enveloped the masked soldier's head. The masked soldier, who had been on all fours for a while, seems to have been affected by the magic and falls down. When Emily approaches, she finds that the masked soldier has completely lost her strength and is breathing in her sleep.
「She's fallen. My bad feeling is fading!」
Shinji finally lets his guard down when he sees Emily give a thumbs-up. At the same time, he receives a reminder from Freri that she can now use the teleport magic properly.
「Good. Then let's get out of here right away. I don't want any more trouble...」
A woman's voice, as clear as the sound of a bell, drowned out Shinji's voice as he tried to say sorry. Shinji looked up to see a woman with black hair and a hairpin, leaning out of the window of a different room from the one above him.
「For my father's rudeness, I, his daughter, would like to apologize. So please... Please let me speak to you again!」
Her voice was heard by the soldiers of the castle, who were looking up from below. In response to her voice, several of them also apologized for their impoliteness. The cry of the only princess of Soukai Country has brought the people of the castle back to their senses.
（This can't be ignored, can it? She looks like she's been beaten.）
Looking up at the princess's face, it is clear that she is not acting calculatingly, but seriously asking for the favor. However, considering that they were supposed to part ways with Soukai Country, it is not a bad thing for Shinji and the others to have a chance to talk again.
So, Shinji decides to start over and returns to the castle to discuss the situation again.
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