The knights carrying Earl Einsbark and Wiegraf went through the nobles’ building and headed straight for the hidden passage leading to the cave. There’s probably nowhere else that can serve as a place to shelter nobles.
Since it’s clear now that the enemy has taken over Fort Jugfena, without even knowing their total numbers or the route they took, hiding in the hidden passage that the enemy probably doesn’t know about for the time being is probably the best course of action.
Mixing along with the knights, Kamil and I escaped as well.
As we headed down a long corridor in the nobles’ building, I saw a wide space that was gaudily decorated. It’s the space that serves as an entrance hall to the nobles’ building, connecting the second and third floors. Since the first floor is for the servants, that’s why the entrance hall for welcoming guests to the nobles’ building is on the second floor.
Because this is about the halfway point, after having escaped to here, I was finally able to loosen up slightly and slacken the tension in my shoulders. Although I didn’t actually run for that long, due to the abnormal feeling of being on the battlefield, the time felt unpleasantly longer than usual.
After passing through this hall and the next one, that’s where the big hall with the hidden passage should be.
A knight running in front of us raised his voice to stop us. Everyone immediately got ready for battle. I also tightly gripped the hilt of my sword, and slightly pulled it out of its sheath.
The tension in the air was so thick it felt almost visible. I did my best to sharpen my five senses as much as possible, to notice anything at all – and I heard a light sound.
Someone had quite a sharp tone of voice. And with that, the knights fell silent, even hiding the sounds of their breathing as much as possible. The entrance hall of the nobles’ building instantly became completely silent.
……Then, I heard a more horribly dreadful sound than I’ve ever heard before.
It was a rattling sound, caused by something unknown. It sort of sounded like the sound a wooden instrument would make when you hit it. The rattling sound was echoing throughout the hallway.
Something was in the next hallway. While being as vigilant as possible, some of the knights began advancing to determine the source of the sound.
I swallowed slightly as I heard some more sounds. Then, I suddenly heard screaming.
“-Run! It’s magical beasts! It’s baboons from the Monster Forest, Abijhanas!”
At that moment, vulgar sounding laughter echoed through the hallway. So that’s what it was. The laughter came from a magical beast that sounded quite similar to humans. Everyone began running back at full speed, forgetting to even breathe.
Magical beasts, why would monster baboons be here now at this timing. This is the worst.
A monster baboon is one of the most brutal, ferocious, and intelligent types of monsters living in the Monster Forest. But, usually monsters from the Monster Forest shouldn’t be coming out on their own.
We ran to the tower that connected the nobles’ building to the knight building. But the moment we reached the knight building, another knight that was leading the way screamed again.
“It’s no good, the enemy’s here!!”
“To the tower! Go through the tower to the third floor!”
Once again we turned back, this time running back to the tower from before, climbing back up the tower that we had just run down a few minutes earlier. While the knights jostled each other as they climbed up the narrow spiral staircase, finally the last person came up and they put a bar over the door.
It’s obvious that a bar alone wouldn’t be much to stop the enemy. I could already hear the sound of a body hitting against the door, with a crushing sound resounding throughout the tower.
It was a frightening sound that spurred us onwards.
Just as I reached the third floor’s hallway, I could hear a dull thud behind me as the door was knocked over and crashed against the stone floor.
“Hurry up, to the main hall!”
I could hear some people chasing after us, but that was all I knew. I didn’t have the time to turn around and look.
Since the knights were still carrying the two injured nobles, it would be very difficult to stop and counterattack the enemy here. I mean, in the first place, I’m not much better than baggage, same as the two unconscious over there, so the knights probably won’t ask for my opinion.
Maybe the enemy doesn’t have bows, they weren’t shooting arrows at us, but other projectiles were flying towards us. It was getting to an extent where it was getting harder to run due to things cluttering the corridors.
I ran as fast as I could so that I’d be a difficult target, but something like a plate crashed into the wall next to me and cracked, leaving some slight pain on my cheek as one of its shards scratched me.
There’s nothing I can do at all about the fact that I’m still small and slow, and I was falling farther and farther behind, into the back ranks.
Suddenly, someone grabbed my arm, and pulled me behind him. When I realized what was going on, it was Kamil who had changed places with me for some reason.
Uwaa, a sound of surprise came out of me. However, it was drowned out by a boom. Everything in my vision became pure white as something exploded in front of my eyes.
While carrying me, Kamil was running away from the explosion point as fast as he could. On the edges of my vision, I could see pillars of fire rising. I could only stare dumbfounded in blank amazement as the carpet and the curtains on the barred windows went up in flames instantly. Kamil covered me as much as he could, and I don’t know whether to say it was more like he was carrying me or dragging me, he ran with me in the opposite direction from the one where we were heading just earlier.
I could just make out that the glass windows were cracking and shattering, with the pieces blowing outside. I could feel it getting hotter and hotter behind me. The woolen carpets are making it really easy for the fire to burn. My heart was beating so fast that I wondered if I would get a heart attack.
What was that? A bomb? No way.
I’ve never heard of such a weapon being invented here, and gunpowder’s not at that level here. Maybe it’s at the level of being able to create Molotov cocktails, but even those can’t explode. What’s more, until that explosion happened, I’ve never seen such a fire like that either.
My body felt like it was floating. Kamil was lifting me up with one hand. And, I took a deep breath at what I saw.
Kamil’s right arm that was holding on to me was badly burned and it was dripping blood. It must be from the bomb earlier – did he protect me from the explosion?
Come to think of it, there’s a dull, numb pain on my hands and feet and cheeks. When I looked down at myself, it wasn’t as bad as Kamil, but I was bleeding all over the place.
It’s not to the point where my life would be in danger, and maybe it’s because my blood is actively circulating around, even though I should be hotheaded right now, my head was miraculously and terribly ice cold clear.
As if fog was clearing, I remembered some previously blurry fragmented memories from my previous life.
……That’s right, guns appeared in the Arxia Kingdom where this otome game had taken place. Although it was a muzzle loader type, I remember there was a conversation about using them to suppress magical beasts.
Nothing’s happened in this world like the scenarios in the game, but if guns aren’t supposed to be considered rare in seven to eight years, then of course there should be gunpowder in this world. Even if Arxia doesn’t have such technology right now, maybe Densel does, or maybe it was obtained by the country of Parmigran as they trade on the seas with many other countries.