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The prelude before intense battle.
Chapter 67 – Death March
When he noticed me, Norden showed slight surprise on his face as he walked toward Roxy.
[Roxy-sama, a large scale stampede from Gallia is approaching the border.]
Hearing the report from Norden, Roxy replied with a calm attitude as if the sword fight just now never happened,
[Is it a death march?…. How big?]
[About 15,000 or so. A rather small number for a death march.]
[…..understood. What is the estimated time until they reach the border?]
[With their current speed, approximately 4 hours.]
[Before that happens, we’ll intercept them in Gallia. How is the preparation going….]
Roxy gave me a quick nod as she talked to Norden, signaling that I could leave.
She’s now moving to lead the army to stop the death march. That is, after all, why Roxy came here in the first place.
I refused to join the military as their mercenary, so I couldn’t join her.
By the way, that wasn’t what I was concerned about. When I glanced at Roxy’s side,
[Cheh, that bastard…]
My eyes met with Norden’s, and at that moment he turned to me with a grin on his face.
I really have no idea what that means. Whether it is ‘are you coming or not?’…..or ‘Surprisingly you are a coward, eh?’……or something like ‘nice taste for a warrior, or none of above.
Anyways it’s the bad kind of smile.
Roxy, Norden, and the soldiers had left, leaving me standing there alone. The crowd that was watching had also dispersed, thanks to the siren.
Meanwhile. Greed told me through 《Mind Reading》skill.
『Fate, what are you going to do?』
[Isn’t already decided? Besides, I’m hungry.]
『So you are going……』
When I finally also walked away, only Eris was left there.
She had her eyes on me with a sense of longing in her gaze. She had promised me to not involve herself, but when I looked back, she had that shy expression on her face.
I’m in a hurry, but……
[What’s wrong….don’t give me that kind of face.]
When I approached her, Eris backed off instead, keeping some distance between us.
Then, she advised me with a low voice.
[You’d better not go.]
[Since Eris said that, then I need to go even more so……..thank you, for worrying about me.]
[………….because it’s bad to be always unreasonable.]
She went back into the bar without looking back. Eris did say that she’d remain neutral. So even if she told me that it’s going to be dangerous, I really had no idea what kind of danger it would be.
Even so, it’s still a precious piece of information. I’ll have to thank that girl for being trustworthy. Let’s just keep that in mind for now.
That death march, is certainly not a normal kind of death march.
Well, let’s just go. While walking, I asked Greed.
[Can I ask you something?]
『At a time like this? What is it?』
[Greed is one of the Mortal Sins, so you can sense if there is another Mortal Sin weapon nearby, right?]
『Yes, but there is none in Babylon other than me. Why do you ask all of a sudden? Something like this never bothered you before』
That’s right. I had never asked about this before.
If by any chance there is another mortal sin skill holder around here, I don’t want to think about the possibility of them being hostile to me.
It’s because I have no confidence in fighting some extraordinary person, like Myne for instance, on my own. However, I can’t stay leisurely anymore.
With Roxy’s death, the hate within regular folks will well up and trigger the creation of the new kind of human being much like how the crown type monsters are made. If I were to believe Eris’ words, there was someone else who believed it as well. It could be a mortal sin skill user, or something else.
And that person is here, in Babylon.
In response to my premonition, Greed told me.
『In this Babylon, there is only you and Eris. I sensed nothing else.』
『That’s right.. However, there is the possibility that they deliberately concealing themselves. As long as they aren’t as half baked as you are, it’d be possible. It’s the same case with Eris. I wouldn’t even notice her if she didn’t make herself known to us.』
That doesn’t seem so good. Still, the time is steadily ticking. Do I really have the time to worry about something I can’t see just yet?
As I tightened my left fist, Greed added in through 《mind reading》.
『Well, at least I can be a little bit at ease』
[What’s with that, so sudden]
『Fate, you’ve realized that letting that woman get out of sight might prove to be dangerous. I guess you’ve grown up a little.』
[Don’t treat me like a child forever. Even I know that there are things that I have to be careful about other than Tenryu.]
Perhaps, she’s even more annoying than Tenryu could be. Greed laughed at that thought of mine.
『Ahahahahahah, in my eyes, you are still no different that a newborn baby.』
Yeah, yeah, you are a 4000-year-old geezer. It must’ve been such a very long time, that his mind got twisted a little. Poor Greed….
[What is it?]
『Don’t be reckless』
[You say that just now?.]
From back then, when I was working in the Heart mansion…..from the moment I knew about the price I had to pay for having the Gluttony skill, I guess I haven’t changed that much, have I? At least the Gluttony skill is stable at the moment.
[It should be okay this time. I know what to do.]
『Well, you are right.』
I passed through several warriors along the way as I walked to the main street. They were running towards the northern gate all decked up in extravagant equipment.
They are probably aiming for the leftovers from the Kingdom military forces led by Roxy. It’s a great opportunity to earn some money.
As I adjusted the skull mask, I looked at the military district in the south. Greed asked me through 《mind reading》.
『What’s wrong, Fate? The exit is in the opposite direction』
[I’m okay. Let’s go]
A huge wave of military personnel, warriors, and merchants were in a rush.
This is good, but I prefer the path where there is no one else.
The military district is currently very crowded due to the death march, I guess the big players have also started moving.
[I’ll take a super shortcut]
Taking advantage of my strength, I made a huge leap and landed on the rooftops. It appeared that Greed could read my intention.
『So you’re planning to go to the south via the rooftops, then go beyond the adamantine wall, towards Gallia』
However, I won’t go straight to Gallia. I will watch how the situation unfolds first.
The King’s Army is the main character here. If it’s only a simple death march, the the army led by the nobles should be enough to handle it. They have made preparations for it after all. In addition, Roxy is strong.
What I should do, is to identify and act before any accidents can occur.
When I arrived there, the wind was blowing stronger than I thought, as if it could blow me away at any time.
The south…… clusters of black clouds seemed to be approaching from Gallia.
Although it’s still in the distance, I could still clearly see them…..a huge group of 15,000 strong monsters.
『This will be your first time facing a death march. So, keep this in mind. Don’t try to kill a large amount of monsters at once. The sudden surge of stat growth may possibly awaken Gluttony or make you crazy.』
[Yeah, I’ll be careful. Sorry about that time.]
A bad memory resurfaced in my mind. It was from back when I was still in the Heart’s family territory, a crown type――the time when I fought the assault goblin, the first monster I’d fought that had a proper title.
It was nice to be able to defeat it. By eating a strong soul that I’d never eaten before, my stats rose up greatly, but in exchange, the gluttony skill ran amok within me.
I was struggling so hard to maintain my conscience, even to the point of hitting my head on a rock….it was truly a bad memory.
If the same thing happened in the midst of battle, being surrounded by monsters, it’ll take less than the blink of an eye for me to go to the world beyond.
I’ve tried to train myself to resist it, but just as Greed said, eating thousands of monster at once will be foolish.
Well, I’ll leave that to the King’s army. I won’t fight the death march head on.
After a while, the King’s army emerged from Babylon. Of course Roxy was among them. Leading the army from atop a white horse. Predicting where the death march will most likely pass through, they headed out to the border.
From the arrangement, I think they planned to use magicians’ and archers’ ranged attacks to cut down enemies’ number. Then they’ll clean up the remaining monsters in close combat afterward.
With that number, some crown tier monsters are bound to be mixed within. It’ll be Roxy’s role to defeat them….as only the holy knights have enough power to contend with them.
Greed said to warn me.
『It will begin soon』
[Let’s go now so we can join in at any given time.]
I drew out the black sword and turned it into bow form.
This whole month, I didn’t actually kill monsters randomly. I’ve been training on how to draw out Greed’s potential to the fullest.
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