Imperial Capital Evacuation Battle
“The war to exterminate demons, well said.”
We were in the conference for the interim alliance in the imperial castle.
The most important people from each country were all busy with work.
When I honestly praised Philine after she finished her broadcast, she said embarrassedly.
“I thought people would panic if I told them to flee because of danger. Rather than that, it’s better to tell people that it’s a part of the plan to defeat demons so they’ll be calmer, right?”
It was exactly as Philine said.
There is a huge difference in the impression people receive between being told that a crisis is coming and being told that they are helping to make the crisis disappear.
We were talking about the very same person who until recently couldn’t have even called out to Hilda. People are mysterious creatures.
“In fact, Hilda and I came up with the manuscript for this speech together.”
Philine stuck out her tongue as though she was revealing a trick.
She looked somewhat awkward, but I still felt admiration for her.
“Even so, it was a splendid speech. It was as dignified as Dorothea’s.”
“… It’s strange. I was so averse to being compared to my mother, and yet I can now accept it easily.”
I’m sure that’s because Philine had gained a lot of confidence.
The deportation must have been a major setback for her.
But Philine overcame it, took down Dorothea, and brought her people together in this way.
The shy timid girl was almost gone.
“The hard part is only beginning, princess.”
Hilda, who was standing by her side, said so.
“We also need to quickly put together a plan to evacuate people and deal with the approaching demon army…”
It was Dorothea who interrupted Philine’s words.
“I will be in the rearguard of the evacuation.”
The rearguard of the evacuation – that’s the place where you are most likely to lose your life.
“Mother, I can’t let you go there!”
“Throw away your personal feelings, Philine. It’s for the best. Who else than me can be in the rear?”
Indeed, there are few who are better than Dorothea in terms of fighting ability.
Maybe just Manaria-sama if we include her magic.
“But wouldn’t there be serious consequences if you died in combat?”
Claire-sama made a valid point.
Dorothea was one of humanity’s trump cards.
If she was lost so early in the war against demons, it would be a great blow to humanity.
And her influence doesn’t end there.
“Dorothea, do you understand that if you were to die in battle, the imperial army will lose the spirit to fight?”
Even though she had retired from the throne, Dorothea was still the spiritual pillar of the empire.
Despite Philine’s remarkable growth, Dorothea’s presence was still big.
“Of course. I don’t intend to die. But you’ll never win a battle unless you’re willing to fight to the death.”
Dorothea didn’t intend to yield.
“… I understand. Mother, take care of the rearguard.”
“In return, you must promise me one thing.”
Philine took Dorothea’s hand in her hands, squeezed it, and said.
“Promise that you will come back alive. The empress, Philine Naa, forbids you to die.”
“… Hah, how bold of you. But fine. I promise.”
And so, the imperial capital evacuation began.
“You didn’t have to follow me, Rei Taylor, Claire François.”
Dorothea shouted so while bisecting an ogre.
“It’s not like we’ve come for you!”
Claire-sama burned down a group of orcs with countless flame spears.
“That’s how it is! It’s not good to be excessively self-conscious, Dorothea!”
“Hah, let’s leave it at that.”
As I froze everything around her, Dorothea laughed away my words and slaughtered two more ogres.
Her swordsmanship as she cut through bodies of ogres as thick as giant trees looked as inhuman as ever.
We were on the frontline where demon and human forces met.
Claire-sama and I were on the battlefield with Dorothea.
Dorothea was stubborn about being in the rearguard, but we joined in to help at least a little.
The people of the imperial capital were probably still being evacuated.
We didn’t know what was going on there, and there was little we could’ve done to help there, so we were participating in the battle, but there were more demons than we’d expended.
“Claire-sama, take this!”
Claire-sama accepted a bottle of potion from me and drank it.
Unlike Dorothea, who could fight with her sword for as long as her stamina lasted, Claire-sama and I were limited by our magic running out.
We’d brought quite a few potions, but they were rapidly depleting and we only had about one fourth left.
It was about time for us to think about retreating.
“Hum… You people don’t know when to give up, huh?”
A certain someone with bat wings wearing a frock coat appeared.
“Hi, Claire François. That was a nice escape the other day. Truly appropriate for the loser.”
“… What did you say?”
Claire-sama raised her beautiful eyebrows as she was bluntly sneered at.
“Don’t fall for it, Claire-sama. It’s a cheap provocation.”
“… Yes, you’re indeed right.”
Normally, Claire-sama would have laughed at such obvious provocation and responded with a snide remark or two.
Claire-sama was definitely exhaustasted since she failed to do that.
“You got away the other day, but this time―― Uh-huh.”
A large object flew towards Arist as he tried to mock Claire-sama.
Arist brushed aside the object thrown at him – a body of an ogre.
“You are the demon who killed Christoph.
Of course, it was Dorothea who had thrown it at him.
She shook off monsters’ bodily fluids that clung to her black sword and slowly made her way towards Arist.
Many demons attacked Dorothea on the way, but she didn’t stop walking as she cut through them all.
“Christoph… Who’s that? It’s hard to remember human names, you know?”
Arist replied to Dorothea with a relaxed expression.
“I see, then die.”
With those words, Dorothea vanished from sight.
“Uh oh, dangerous.”
The next thing I knew, Dorothea was behind Arist.
Arist moved his arms behind his back and caught Dorothea’s slash with his claws.
“Rates told me about you. You must be the person with a disproportionate amount of power, Dorothea Naa, right?”
“Indeed, I’m Dorothea. However, my name isn’t something that a demon can utter.”
Dorothea’s arms became blurry.
He must’ve sensed danger.
Arist tried to jump back as far as he could, but on the way he lost balance and fell down.
“You can’t run away anymore.”
When I looked at Arist, his wings had already been cut off at the root.
“Leave this place to my rearguard troops and go, Rei Taylor, Claire François.”
“Let’s go, Claire-sama.”
I ran, leading Claire-sama by hand as she anxiously looked at Dorothea.
Behind me, I could hear Dorothea’s voice filled with anger.
“I thought I didn’t have much motherly feeling, but unexpectedly, I seem furious. I won’t grant you painless deaths, demons.”
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