The Black Fog that Devours - Chapter 72
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
(Third person POV)
It is the third morning since the villagers abandoned their village to evacuate from the Demon King.
“Tsk! There are a lot more of them than we anticipated!”
“They most likely assailed wild creatures along the way and turned them into zombies!”
The men of the village and some mercenaries continue to put up a strenuous resistance.
The reason is simple: they are on the verge of reaching their destination when the enemy gains on them, and they are trying to help those who cannot fight, including children and the elderly, to beat a hasty retreat.
However, despite the efforts of each of them, they are clearly outnumbered and overwhelmed, and the majority of them are carrying wounds of one kind or another.
“≪Fire Swirl≫!” “…!” “≪Cut Off≫!”
But Mugi’s ≪Fire Swirl≫ emerges on the cliff and sears away a group of enemies, while Izumi’s axe blasts away several enemies at the same time as it approaches the flank of the enemy group. Houki suddenly appears (seemingly) in the midst of a group of enemies, and with a ≪Cut Off≫, she shears off the enemy’s legs and deprives them of maneuverability.
“Oh! You guys showed up!”
One of the mercenaries addresses Mugi and the others while slashing down the enemy with a huge sword in his hand.
“Sorry! We had a bit of trouble dealing with the other team! We’ll clear up these guys here now!”
Mugi responds while releasing ≪Firebolt≫ at the nearest Jiangshi.
The reason why Mugi and her team had not been here until now was that another group was closing in on them from a different route than the one they were presently opposing. Since the average level of that group was evidently higher than the villagers, Mugi and company, who were at a higher level, had no choice but to head for the other group.
Nevertheless, Mugi and her group eliminated the detached force, and when the girls joined the main group, it seemed that the situation was settled.
“That… can’t be…”
When Mugi catches sight of it, a gasp breaks out in her throat.
What Mugi has spotted… is a group of more than 1,000 Jiangshi, a group of immortal demons.
“Damn it! All the villagers must withdraw swiftly!”
Mugi hastily instructs all the villagers present.
“But if we evacuate here!”
“Shut up! Our numbers aren’t even adequate to stop them! If you have time to be complaining, hurry up and join the non-combatants and run away with them!”
Refutations are of course raised, but these are suppressed by force. Any hesitancy at this stage could be disastrous.
And once all the villagers have fled, the remaining mercenaries utilize their wide-area offensive skills to obliterate the group of enemies they had just been combating.
“Now… does anyone have a strategy to counteract that?”
“I can’t conceive of any ideas.”
“Seeing it in this state reminds me that there is strength in numbers.”
“But we have no option but to do it. That’s our work.”
“Well, we have to at least stall them, right?”
Mugi and the mercenaries are prepared and poised to engage in battle at any moment.
And when Ryo and Une arrive from the non-combat group in the front to join Mugi and the others, things begin to change abruptly.
“This is strange…”
Ryo is the first one to recognize it.
And, following her words, the other mercenaries also begin to perceive the abnormality of the other party.
“Ga… gu… ga…”
Right. With each step, the bodies of the Jiangshi that are pressing in on them are collapsing. The speed of this is daunting, and within the blink of an eye, the number of the Jiangshi is dwindling, and by the time they have reached the scope of Ryo and her companions’ attack, their numbers have been reduced to less than one-tenth of what they were.
And just as they are within the attack range, Ryo comes to her senses,
“All of you. Unleash as many long-range attacks as you can! We will exterminate the enemies!”
With this command to the mercenaries, the battle ensues.
The battle rages on. Although the number of enemies has been scaled down to one-tenth, there are still more than a hundred of them, which means that even Ryo and her high-level comrades can only take on a limited number at a time.
Notwithstanding, as the battle drags on, the adversaries’ numbers are conspicuously shrinking rapidly, even more so than the pace at which Ryo and her team are defeating them.
And before long, every last one of the Jiangshi had been returned to the ground.
“Somehow… it all worked out…”
Ryo’s monologue can be heard throughout the area.
After joining the villagers, we have come to ascertain why the Jiangshi had unexpectedly begun to crumble away.
Apparently, it was due to a group of humans that our reconnaissance had detected two days earlier. Since they had vanquished the Demon King of that dungeon, the effect of the Demon King’s skill had lost its protective effect on the Jiangshi, who had been able to operate without problems under the sunlight, and that seemed to be the consequence of that.
As for the humans who defeated the Demon King… well, if they are still alive, they will be back here in a few days.
“At any rate, it seems that we have survived, right?”
“Yes, that’s true. But even if they were weakened, we lost 2 of our own given their numbers.”
Houki and I have a proper meal while reviewing the income and expenditure for this job.
The village chief has paid us handsomely. However, it seems that the depletion of equipment and personnel still has its proportionate toll. The particularly galling part is the fact that deaths have occurred.
“Is that so…”
I silently mourn the passing of the two people who perished.
The demise of someone you are acquainted with is a bitter blow. Nonetheless, I suppose I will have to familiarize myself with it should I continue to operate as a mercenary, advance my level, and live for a long time to come.
However, regardless of how much I adapt to it, I must make sure that my feelings do not become numb. If I become so accustomed to death that nothing can shake my emotions, there would mean that something is amiss with me as a person…
(Third person POV)
Ryo and her team have acquired the title ≪Mercenary of the Fog≫.
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