Volume 1 Chapter 17: Danger? Tower Defence in the Abandoned City

The Alva Duchy was originally just another ordinary land owned by an ordinary duke. It was only known because of its location between the border of humans and beastmen, being a place where the two sides often clashed. Against the stronger physiques of the beastmen, human soldiers had to rely mainly on superior equipment to have any hope at achieving victory. Another saving grace was that typical beastmen usually had a low aptitude for magic, and human mages were unmatched by their beastmen counterpart in battle if properly protected.

However, the Alva Plains where the duchy was situated had one big problem: the soil here was too loose. The loose soil made it impossible to make strong fortifications, and the humans were not able to build a wall tall enough without it collapsing. This was the reason why the Alva Duchy had been abandoned by the five empires; it would be too costly to defend against the invading beastmen without proper fortifications.

Also, the human empires were still battling the demon forces in the north and were unable to send any decent reinforcements such as dragon knights to the duchy. After all, there was next to no value in reinforcing a duchy whose only resource was farmland.

The entire duchy consisted only of its capital while a typical duchy would have several satellite cities around its capital and other smaller settlements scattered throughout. The Alva Duchy did use to have satellite cities at one point but they were destroyed in recent years by the newly renewed beastmen onslaught. To concentrate forces and make it easier to defend, the feudal lord, Duke Victor, gathered everyone who had not yet left the duchy in the capital. The situation in the duchy still had not stabilized.


At the capital’s gates, there was a large number of guards thoroughly checking everyone that entered the city. Yesterday, Duke Victor had given an order that the city was to be placed under isolation. It seemed that the Ignaz family’s thousand-strong guard division had been completely annihilated by the beastmen while returning to the duchy’s capital. The young lady of the Ignaz family, Elena Ivy, and the Radiant Church’s third holy maiden, Antonia Susan, were still unaccounted for. They were the ones who had lead this division into the region a few days ago to hunt monsters. If they were with their guards when the ambush happened, they were most likely dead.

Victor was at a loss of what to do as two very important girls had gone missing in his territory. It was fortunate that they had not yet found any bodies, otherwise, it would definitely be the end of him if they did. However, if he had known that something like this would happen, he would never have become the duke of this shitty place. Back when they were rewarding the new nobles, there were several other places that he could have taken, but all the other ones only came with the title of count. This was the only place that came with the position of a duke. Now that he looked back on it, that was definitely a trap.

“Lord Duke, our scouts have reported a large force of beastmen heading to this city. Their numbers are at least twenty thousand. I believe that they should have arrived last night, but they ran into the Ignaz Family’s guards and got delayed.”

“What? Twenty thousand beastmen warriors? Ford, get the servants to start packing. I’m going to the Gabriel Empire to seek refuge… I mean, to beg for reinforcements; bring everything that has value!”

“Lord Duke, if you leave now, there will be no one left to organize the defense!”

“I’m going to go and request for backup so you can organize the defense. Yes, it’s settled!”

Duke Victor disregarded his subordinate’s protest and insisted on fleeing from the city. The entire city was only defended by a thousand militia whose combat abilities were much lower than that of Ignaz Guard Division who had blocked a bullet for them. Victor believed that only a madman would stay and await sure death.

The duke’s subordinate quickly took flight as well after seeing that their lord had abandoned the city to its fate. He wasn’t an idiot. His boss had already fled so there was no way that he would be willing to be the scapegoat for all of this.

The news that the duke had fled spread like wildfire through the servants of his estate and the entirety of the town was made known of the fact within a few hours. The city fell into a state of chaos with everyone trying to get all their valuables out of the town. It looked as if the city was heading towards an impending apocalypse.


After quite some time, a group of what seemed to be adventurers arrived at the city’s gates. There were only ten of them, and their professions seemed to be four knights, a swordswoman, four clerics, and an archer. This was, of course, Bella’s group, who had come out to hunt monsters. Apart from the three lolis who were only pretending to be clerics, the professions of the rest were right, for the most part.

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“Don’t be so glum Ivy. This is a battlefield. This kind of stuff happens too often, but it’s also unavoidable.”

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Bella was busy comforting the depressed Ivy. On their way to the city, they had received news about what had happened to the thousand-strong guard division that had escorted Ivy and Susan all this way. Ivy had been heavily hit with the news. Those guards had served the Ignaz family for many years after all, and she knew a number of them personally.

“Hey Ivy, do you know Mathilde Kriss?”

“Are you talking about the first princess of the Gabriel Empire? I knew her when we were little; I guess we were kind of childhood friends. Recently though, I feel as if she has drifted away from me. She doesn’t really speak with me anymore.”

“Do you remember when she started to drift away?”

“Let me remember… I think it was about three years ago when she was twelve years old. That year, she was traveling with her father, the emperor, but the royal entourage was ambushed and the royal family’s carriage was pierced by arrows. Kriss was already adept with the sword at the time and managed to drive away the assassins after leaving the carriage. However, she had been hit with a poisoned arrow and passed out shortly after forcing away the assassins. She regained consciousness about a month later.”

According to Ivy’s memory, Mathilde Kriss had woken up as a completely different person. The once extroverted and cheerful girl became introverted and apathetic, drifting away from all her former friends as if she no longer knew them. Her skills also rapidly increased, beating all other contestants in the royal tournament just a month after waking up and had not lost a sword fight ever since. Those who had lost to her claimed that her sword was too fast to be seen. This, along with how little she talked, earned her the unofficial title of ‘Lonesome Sword’.

“Bella, you should know Kriss’s beauty is much higher than any of Gabriel Empire’s(Swordsmen) Three Beauty Swords, myself included. There are lots of suitors from distinguished families who want to claim her hand in marriage, but I feel as if she isn’t interested in them at all.”

The best way to close distances between girls was to gossip with them. Ivy thought that Bella’s question was trying to gossip with her and diminish her sorrow, which it had done quite well.

Based on just the information that Clement had brought her yesterday, Bella believed that this Kriss wasn’t so simple. Clement’s subordinates had all been killed when they were gathering information on her, and the scariest part was that Clement’s ghost scouts were all equipped with a mirror that could distort space and time, created by Noesha of course. Kriss was able to cut through the spatial barrier and kill the ghosts.

This was the first time that Bella had heard of someone being able to kill them when they were separated by a spatial barrier. Weren’t Kriss’s cheats too broken?! Clement also reported that she would settle most fights against other renowned swordsmen within three moves of her blade, with many opponents not even being able to see her first strike before losing.

As the current most ‘well-received’ demon king subordinate in the dark sanctuary, Clement was relatively educated on the first demon king Bella’s interests. He then went to investigate Kriss in person but was also defeated by her in three blows. After getting defeated, Clement did manage to gather some vital information on Kriss: her sword wasn’t god-level equipment but something that seemed to have some sort of direct connection to her. It did seem to have the ability to cut through space and time, however. Kriss’s attack speed was also much faster than even a typical assassin, causing many people to not know what hit them. {1}

Even more importantly, Clement braved his life and managed to bring back Kriss’s three sizes as well as her hobbies and likes, where she spent her time, as well as a rough sketch of her visage. Bella had felt emotional when she realized that she had such a dedicated ‘gentleman’ among her subordinates. All this information was everything she wanted.

If Bella’s instinct was correct, this Kriss was very likely also a transmigrator. The real Kriss had most likely passed away during the month-long coma. Lisha’s progress took at least a year, but Kriss only took a month. She probably wasn’t any weaker than Lisha.

Bella wasn’t going to find trouble with Kriss as her current objective was to just stay as far away as possible from any other transmigrator who had a bajillion cheats on them. She didn’t have any reason to do anything, but according to the subordinates that Dolores had sent to the demon continent, there was evidence that the seal on the ancient twelve demon kings was weakening rapidly. Soon these transmigrated heroes would have quite a problem on their hands. All Bella needed to do was stand on the side and watch.

They had come to the capital of the duchy because Ivy wanted to enlist some mercenaries to help them. Originally, it would have been fine with just Bella and the others, but this morning, they had discovered more tracks belonging to pseudo-dragons of different sizes; it was probably a group of pseudo-dragons who had migrated. Ivy didn’t think that just a few in their party were enough to deal with a group of pseudo-dragons, so Ivy had wanted to try her luck and see whether any mercenaries were willing to come with her.

“That’s strange. Why isn’t there anyone at the gates, not even any guards?” When they arrived at the capital’s gates, Susan found that there was no human in sight. The gates were wide open and even the streets inside were devoid of people. The only things they saw on the streets inside were variously scattered belongings. It appeared that whoever left these behind had left in a hurry.

Right at this time, several furry figures dashed out of the two houses closest to them. Their target was the closest Susan, however, unfortunately, they didn’t get very far before taking one of Annie’s arrows on their heads.

“Wolfmen? There are beastmen in this city.” Looking at the wolfmen bodies that looked as if part of their heads had been blown off, Bella could only sigh and think of how archers had always been broken. This was the first time Bella had encountered a beastmen. They seemed like werewolves from the movies she watched on earth.

“Thank you.” Susan felt fortunate for Annie’s aid. Wolfmen had always been the shock troops traveling ahead of beastmen armies, and their purpose was to eliminate human mages. If it wasn’t for Annie’s quick reaction, she would have most likely gotten killed as she didn’t have any time to cast defense magic.

Annie acknowledged Susan’s thanks with a nod. To not expose their identities, Annie and Roland followed Bella’s order and didn’t tell Ivy and Susan their real names. They claimed to be Bella’s followers and wouldn’t say anything else. Because of this and the fact that Susan and Ivy had never seen the two in person, they were unable to match this beautiful archer with the long-missing first princess of the Kristoff Empire (Archers/Assassins), Kris Annie.

“Sister, there is a huge number of beastmen heading our way.” Through the spirits in the area, Angel was able to detect a large army of beastmen heading towards this abandoned city.

“Twenty thousand beastmen warriors? Bella, I suggest we run for it.” After hearing the news, Susan suggested an immediate withdrawal. After all, there were only ten of them, and there was no way they could fight off such a great force of beastmen.

Bella looked a little hesitantly at Susan and Ivy; if it wasn’t for the two of them, Bella honestly believed that they could take on this beastmen army. After all, on their side, they had effectively three demon kings, and as demon kings, they did have several large area-of-effect skills up their sleeves. If there weren’t any outsiders here, they would have just blasted the beastmen into oblivion.

As Bella and the other two were technically another dimension’s demon kings, those in this dimension couldn’t detect the radiating dark aura customary of demon kings. Even Susan was no exception. Along with the fact that high-leveled demons were basically identical to humans on the surface, she didn’t recognize that Dolores was a demon either.

If they were to use the demon kings’ large-scale abilities, however, even an idiot would be able to realize that Bella, Dolores, and Eleanor were demon kings. After all, all the AOE magics they knew were very explicitly demon-king like. Before she managed to convert Ivy and Susan to her side, Bella didn’t want to expose her identity as a demon king as it would most definitely hinder her goal in converting them.

What made it even worse was that they didn’t have any proper battle mages in their party. Angel could only be considered a soul mage if anything while Mia’s curses and hexes couldn’t be used with one of the Church’s holy maidens nearby. Dolores’s magic was still pretty close to demons’, and she also wouldn’t be able to use it here. As for Noesha, Bella wanted to save her power for when they had to retreat in case they couldn’t fight back the beastmen.

“We can’t outrun them as wolfmen are too fast, so we can only make our stand here. Ivy and Susan, take shelter in that watchtower over there. I’ll get my followers to protect you two; I will guard the entrance with Dolores and Eleanor. We won’t let any enemies through while we’re still alive.”

“But the enemy numbers twenty thousand, and you are only three! Even if you are all holy knights, you three don’t even have any mounts!”

“No problem boss, just take care of these three little ones for me. This is my duty as a knight. Anyways, it’s a knight’s honor to be able to protect such beautiful girls.”

“This… don’t force yourselves. Retreat into the tower if you think you can’t hold on. I’ll light a signal fire at the tower’s peak. The Gabriel Empire (Swordsmen) will send reinforcements if they know I’m here.”

Looking at the three figures that stood at the base of the tower, Ivy was moved. As a swordswoman, she wasn’t as armored as a knight and wouldn’t be able to offer them any assistance. If no one came to their aid, this would probably be the end of their party.

Susan was also moved, but there was something she didn’t understand: the three lolis didn’t look to be scared or tense at all. This didn’t match the reaction that should have been for girls their age, who normally would be scared to death. As for the calmness on the faces of the two knight followers, Susan didn’t know if they had already accepted death or if they knew they had nothing to fear.

Angel came behind the archer, Annie, and lightly traced something on her back. Annie immediately felt as if everything in her field of view had been enlarged. She could very clearly see the beastmen forces in the distance heading their way. Angel’s 《Spiritual Eye》 worked by ‘borrowing’ the eyes of the spirits that wandered in the world and sharing their field of views. Basically, it meant that Annie no longer had a blind spot and could see everything in a certain radius.

This kind of ability was priceless to long-range units such as mages and the like, but as they did not currently have any mages in hand, Angel could only settle for the sole long-range unit in their party, the archer, Annie. Roland went to guard the stairs in case any enemies slipped through the defenses downstairs.

The flag of the Church had already been raised over the watchtower; the archer Annie was prepared. Mia was helping her prepare the arrows. She took advantage of the moments when Susan and Ivy looked away to stealthily enchant the arrows with her specialty: curses and hexes. Angel stood on the side, seemingly looking into the distance. She was actually controlling several undeads as scouts to observe the state of the battlefield. As for Noesha, she was talking with Ivy and Susan, drawing their attention away from where Mia was ‘buffing’ Annie’s arrows.

The three knights Bell, Dolores, and Eleanor were waiting at the base of the tower, armed with shield and sword. Looking at the incoming horde of beastmen, then at the watchtower behind her, Bella felt as if she was playing a tower defense game, and had a strange urge to yell ‘You shall not pass!’.{2}

{1} Numbered in order of seniority of becoming a demon king, Bella is 1st, Dolores 2nd, and Eleanor 3rd
{2} Raw here is ‘人在塔在’, lacks a direct translation because it’s a reference to Chinese League of Legends

- my thoughts:
Just Edited
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