The horde of monsters rushed in on the south gate.
The later arrivals to the scene – Adolf, Reyna, and Ryan – saw that there were approximately two thousand airborne creatures.
“Not a single one land-bound monster… This isnt good.”
Ryan grumbled, to which Reid, who had risen up to Rank B in the past year, nodded with an uneasy look on his face.
“What about Reyna and Adolf, Chief”
“They went to the top of the wall… Considering what were up against, I suppose we ought to be there as well.”
Ryan said and raised his hand – a signal of an order to the adventurers on standby behind him.
In response, starting from the back-most adventurers, they gradually entered the south gate and made their way up the wall.
Reyna said, which prompted a reaction from Adolf.
He seemed to not understand what she had meant.
“The walls passageway is only two-person wide.
If we have to defend against monsters, we can stand in only a one-person row at a time.
If were efficient, then we can make it three at most… Which means-“
Now Adolf understood what Reyna was saying.
Under the current circ.u.mstances, it was impossible to link up with the mages.
If they were to try, it would mean the mages, which were supposed to be the rear guard, would end up having to fight the monsters in melee range.
Cold sweat ran down Ryans forehead.
From the outer wall, he looked back at the town, concerned.
[Itsuki… Please be safe…!]
Not long after, the swarm of almost two thousand monsters struck the towns south wall like a tidal wave.
Flying over and weaving their way through the defenders attacks, the monsters successfully invaded the town.
Dragan had been entrusted with the organization of and command over the Warrior University students by Charlie.
The latter had run off to do things by himself.
Sensing the invasion, he turned south.
Upon focusing his eyes, he saw a distant flying body – though still small as a grain at this range, he realized what it was.
“Time is of the essence! All units forward!”
On Dragans back was a rack of countless weapons.
Swords, short swords, estocs, great swords, spears, axes, and bows – and the horse on which he was mounted had many quivers attached to it.
Not revealing the particulars of the monsters invasion to anyone, Dragan led his troops south, quietly and quickly.
Meanwhile, in front of the Magic University Maginasium, Lina was in the middle of mobilizing the students.
Being the first to notice the invasion on this side, she rushed over to the courtyard and shouted to Irene,
Then Irene noticed what was up.
Her frustration of being unable to participate in battle was worsened by the realization that she had been slower than Lina.
Clenching her teeth, she looked at Claris and Anri at Linas sides.
Not a moment later, Trace came back.
Irene turned to her and nodded once, prompting Trace to issue her instructions to the three students.
The students nodded and immediately headed south.
Hornel, breathless, came running to Trace.
It seemed that he had been struggling to keep up with Lina.
“Professor Trace! Please let me go, too!”
Then another mage ran up to Hornel.
This mage was noticeably smaller than the other students – it was Tifa, with her Chihuahua Familiar Tarawo on her shoulder.
She stood next to Hornel.
Looking at her, Trace noticed that she was not acting like her usual self.
“Itsuki and Natsu…! Looks like theyre still at the Pochisley Agency!”
Hornel, startled by the statement, turned north, in the direction of the Pochisley Agency.
The Magic and Warrior Universities were located in the center of Beilanea, and the Agency building was a short way away in the towns northern district.
If they were to head south and fight, they likely would be able to fend off a decent number of monsters.
But the enemies were all airborne.
Realistically speaking, it was impossible for land-bound warriors and mages to defeat all of them.
Furthermore, with this location containing the combined arcane energies of Magic University Headmaster Tangalán, Irene the Invincible Sprout, the rest of the Six Archmages, and the in-training but magic-capable students, it was easy to imagine that the monsters would avoid the towns central area.
Tifa, unable to hide her impatience, turned her back to Irene and was about to run off.
[“Hold it right there!!”]
Irene shot her a shout of a Telepathic Call.
Although not so likely, Tifa had a chance of facing danger if she were to go along – that was what Irene had figured.
But Irene couldnt speak with her physical voice right now.
If she were to make even a sound, it would be heard by all of Beilanea.
In the meantime, Hornel stood himself in front of Tifa.
As if to pray for the safety of Lina who had gone ahead to do her thing, he closed his eyes, then opened them again, showing his resolute will.
Irene nodded silently and looked at Tifa again.
[“You go with Hornel.”]
In giving that instruction to Tifa, Irene had it figured that someone like Hornel could keep the girl in line.
Trace was in charge of directing the upper-grade students.
She exchanged glances with the two when they ran off on their way.
While exiting the Magic University, Hornel drew a Spell Circle in the air as he went along.
Maïga emerged from the white light, landed on the ground, and ran next to Hornel.
Seeming to have a read on Hornels emotions, Maïga simply asked with one word in regards to the unusual atmosphere all around him:
“Countless monsters coming in all directions of the town.
The adventurers are fending them off at the gates!”
“Doesnt look like were heading for the north gate, though.”
Maïga said, his tone unclear whether he meant it to be a question or simply talking to himself.
Regardless, Tarawo responded to him:
“The Pochisley Agency.
Itsuki and Natsu are likely still there.”
“What Not like theres any need to worry about those two, right”
Itsuki was no combatant, but she had the ability to appropriately assess the situation.
And Natsu was now a C-ranked adventurer.
Both of them were excellent personnel of The Silver.
Maïga had said what he had because he was well aware of that fact.
“The other kids…”
Tifa said, jogging Maïgas memory of all the children currently under the care of Pochisley Agency.
“Cyan, Bell, Linda, Akane, Lymm, Rio, Rai-“
The children at the Pochisley Agency – Maïga started to say all their names, prompting a furious interruption from Tarawo,
“You cant just skip over Tao, Reyn, Maki, and Natsumi, bastard!”
“I didnt forget them, damn it! I was about to say their names after this!”
The two familiars yelled at each other.
“Shut the hell up, both of you! People are in danger! Maïga, gigantify!”
“Hell yeah! Were gonna save all those little **s!”
“Watch who youre calling little **s, Maïga! Linda and Akane are a.d.u.l.ts now! Cyan and Bell arent the best disciplined, but theyre ambitious and forward-facing! Moreover- NWOHHHH!”
Tifa interrupted Tarawo, grabbing him up by his forefoot as she hopped on Maïgas back, seating herself behind Hornel.
“Hold on tight!”
Tarawo, sandwiched between Hornels back and Tifas c.h.e.s.t, g.r.o.a.n.e.d in pain.
“Thats right! Hold on to my little ** of a Masters neck if you dont wanna fall off! Strangle him if you have to!”
“This is no time for jokes! You do know the way, dont you!”
“…You have any ideas how many times youhappened to pass by that place…”
“What! I didnt hear you – mind saying that again!”
Hornel actually did not catch Maïgas sarcasm.
Tarawo, on the other hand, managed to figure it out thanks to the tigers deep sigh.
[Were both having a hard time dealing with our Masters shenanigans, I suppose…]
Maïga fiercely kicked the ground, springing himself up to the roof of a nearby building in an instant; needless to say, his back was by no means a comfortable ride.
The Murder Tigers back was lumpy, and his movements were quite rough.
Tifa would have hurled insults Maïgas way if the current circ.u.mstances did not make getting his help a necessity.
But her close friends might be in danger.
Tifa, gritting her teeth, had her eyes locked to the north, the town district at which the Pochisley Agency was.
Then her green eyes detected a gigantic, shadowy figure in the distance.
“-! A Black Double Dragon!”
She could see enough of it to determine that it was a Dragon archetype monster.
The creature had red eyes, and its body was covered in jet black scales.
Its wings were exceedingly wide, and its tail was as large and long as its neck.
Its distinctive feature was the countless bone spikes that protruded from its neck and back.
“Black Double Dragon Ive never heard of it before!”
Hornel searched his mind for related information from the monsters he had faced in the past, but there was nothing he could use.
Hearing that, Tifa proceeded to say as if she was recalling a memory,
“It was in one of Sir Asleys doc.u.ments.
It should have gone extinct about two thousand years ago, though…”
“Bah, how did he even get his hands on those doc.u.ments, anyway!”
“Hell if I know! Now, if I remember correctly… the Black Double Dragon doesnt have any weakness.
I THINK that was written down somewhere, too…”
“How come! If its of the Dragon archetype, then it must have a wide blind spot in its rear.
Isnt that right”
Tifa pointed at the Black Double Dragons tail, prompting Hornel to take a look at it.
“…! Thats no tail! Its a head!”
Now he realized that the creature had two heads: one facing front, another in its rear.
Maïga, narrowing his eyes and cl.i.c.k.i.n.g his tongue in annoyance, picked up the pace.
“That things gotta be tough to take down…”
“Right, it ought to be higher than Rank A.”
Hornel held tightly on to Maïgas gray fur.
Maïga, sensing his Masters emotions, ceased cracking jokes for the time being.
Of the battles Hornel and Tifa had taken part in thus far, none of them had involved defeating monsters of Rank S or higher.
The Black Double Dragon was directly in front of them.
Facing a creature that must be on the upper tier of Rank S, Hornel and Tifa were mere mages.
Tarawo, with his current power level, would not last even a second against it.
Maïga knew that, among those present here, he alone stood a sliver of a chance against it.
He was a Murder Tiger, a creature said to be an incarnation of Haiko the Ashen Tiger, a Sacred Beast of Legends.
Perhaps it was because of his pride in his species that Maïga was neither intimidated nor driven back by the colossal shadow.
He fixated on the Black Double Dragon with a piercing glare, while mustering all the strength he could from his heart and soul to maximize his speed.
It did not take long for him to reach the roof of the Pochisley Agency, which Hornel grabbed on to.
Just right then, a familiar voice entered the ears of Hornel, Tifa, Tarawo, and Maïga – the resounding scream of Itsukis voice.