Chapter 6:

CHAPTER 3.5: THE BATTLE OF THE COURTYARD

The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran Away to Another World Vol. 12


***The Lord Haya’s Manor, somewhere in North Chersea…***Bookmark here

“Attack!”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

The paladin assault aiming to capture the top echelon of the ’Knights of Cassandra David’s leadership began with a powerful explosion, followed by a loud whistle. With a mighty fire magic spell, the paladins threw open the gates of the Lord Haya’s manor and rushed inside. The action shocked everyone in the courtyard, and sent the carriage horses in a panic that some of them broke into a run, inevitably colliding with each other. Amidst that chaos and confusion, the paladin guards leapt into action and surrounded their targets.Bookmark here

The human nobles and their guards were quickly overwhelmed and arrested. However, the demon solders—though initially surprised—fought back, though their matchlock fire was disorganized. Fortunately, the paladins cast a barrier magic just before the first wave of bullets rained on them.Bookmark here

“Hold!” Dame Atkins ordered. As per their training in fighting with and against gunpowder weapons, the Lord Kuro instructed them to note the loading time of their enemy, and hit them while reloading. Once the demons’ fire withered, the vice-captain dispelled the barrier and cast a wind spell that blew the gunpowder smoke back to the shooters’ faces.Bookmark here

“Fire!” this time, the squad leaders bellowed the attack to resume. The paladins—in their line formations, with their shield-bearers kneeling at the front—discharged their matchlocks against the enemy, wounding or killing some of them. Then, they advanced one pace at a time.Bookmark here

Because of the surprise, the demons’ morale quickly fell. It only took the paladin gunners two shots before most of their enemies surrendered. The ones who wished to continue the fight fell back into the manor itself; those who tried to break out via the back side of the property were also captured, as the other paladin squads were waiting for them in that area.Bookmark here

Wasting no time, Seirna’s spy Umberto Benicci immediately went around the demon prisoners to check on their identities. He was looking for the crippled demon, the leader of the ‘Knights’. However…Bookmark here

“You’re only wasting your time,” a human noble they captured muttered to him. “You won’t find him here.”Bookmark here

The former prince chose to ignore the man. Until recently, he had no idea what the leader of the ‘Knights’ looked like. Nevertheless, he could still remember the wheeled-chair of that person he once was afraid of. And because of their observation earlier, Umberto could clearly recall that demon’s face.Bookmark here

And he wanted vengeance on that bastard who nearly have him killed…Bookmark here

“That demon…” it was the Dame Atkins, “…where?”Bookmark here

“He’s not here,” Umberto’s eyes wandered around, and ended up staring at the manor. “Though, you’ve seen him as well, right? That demon is talking with those humans over there just before we attacked. And then, he’s gone!”Bookmark here

“Escaped through smoke?”Bookmark here

“I highly doubt it. That’s guy’s on a wheeled-chair; it’ll be impossible for him to escape fast with all the ruckus earlier. And even if he decided to hide in that manor over there, he has a lot of obstacles to get pass through.”Bookmark here

The dame followed the tracks the former prince was showing her. There were debris scattered around the courtyard, that it’d be hard for anyone with a wheeled-chair to traverse from their spot towards the doors of the manor within a few minutes.Bookmark here

“Monster help, probably?” she suggested.Bookmark here

“I guess?” the former prince was unsure himself. “Well, if it does, what do you think? Should we force our entry, or wait for the Saints to help?”Bookmark here

“Underground escape,” Dame Atkins pointed out. “I’m worried.”Bookmark here

“Right…we have that too,” Umberto sighed. “So, we attack then?”Bookmark here

The paladin vice-captain nodded. However…Bookmark here

“!!!” Their thoughts were interrupted when they heard someone laugh. It was the human noble who told them earlier they won’t find their target among the prisoners.Bookmark here

“I won’t try it, if I were you!” the man was saying in-between his laughs, and though his eyes were full of tears. “You’re only wasting your time, and more importantly, your lives!”Bookmark here

“Lives?” the dame’s hand reached for her sword.Bookmark here

“The one you’re looking for, he’s inside that manor,” the human noble confirmed. “But, I’m warning you…once you stepped inside, you won’t get out alive.”Bookmark here

“What do you know?” Umberto grabbed the noble by his collar. “I’ve been in and out of that place multiple times, and I’m still here, ready to kill you!”Bookmark here

“Of course, Umberto Benicci,” the noble smirked. “I know who you are, and your reasons for infiltrating the ‘Knights’. You may not be aware of it, but you and your master…you played right into my hands. And of course, I’m aware of your plans to come back to this place and find me. I got friends in high places, after all…”Bookmark here

At that moment, the spy master threw him down and jumped away from the man. The paladin vice-captain drew her sword and was about to come near the human noble, when Umberto slapped her head and pulled her back.Bookmark here

“Don’t do it, you idiot!” he told her. “Can’t you see there’s something wrong with that guy? I already threw him away from me!”Bookmark here

“What?” Dame Atkins had to content herself asking the prisoner from afar.Bookmark here

“You really are sharp as ever, aren’t you, Umberto Benicci?” the man said in-between his laughs, “It’s no wonder why you’re standing here today, even though I tried to have you killed in the desert! However, don’t you think you’re being rude by not trying the warm welcome I prepared just for you?”Bookmark here

“!!!”Bookmark here

At that moment, the former prince noticed that the prisoners were getting bloated. Some of them even uttered painful moans, as their appearance slowly became disfigured. Sensing that something bad was about to happen, he pushed the Dame Atkins away, and shouted to the other paladins, “Every one of you, get back!”Bookmark here

“H-Help!” the prisoners were struggling to contain whatever it was moving within them. The ropes binding their bodies and limbs were torn apart. Blood was spurting out of their mouths, noses, ears and eyes. And they tried to ask for help in vain, before all of them eventually exploded in a bloody mess.Bookmark here

The next thing that the paladins knew, monsters they’d never seen before were in front of them, feasting on whatever remained of the victims’ bodies.Bookmark here

“What the—” was all Umberto could say, as he stood frozen on the ground. One of the creatures—a giant monster with a human body and a head of bull—raised its limbs, and was about to hit him, when someone tackled him away from its path. The creature’s powerful bash reverberated, but only caused slight damage and shock to all nearby.Bookmark here

“Don’t freeze,” the Dame Atkins told him. Her sword was already drawn, ready to join the paladin squads desperately attacking the monsters.Bookmark here

Not wishing to be left out, the former prince picked up a sword from a fallen enemy and reloaded his matchlock. Silently uttering a prayer to the saints, he took a deep breath, and jumped to the fray.Bookmark here

----------
Bookmark here

***The Holy Palatial Gardens***Bookmark here

This was one of the rare days when the official residence of the Human Saint was open for visitors. Because of the recent events, it had been closed to everyone, even the royalty. However, now that word had spread that their beloved saint had already ‘recovered’ from her ‘special condition’—the household staff’s term to describe what happened, since everyone knew Lady Madelaine Ann Rubinforth couldn’t get sick, visitors and dignitaries flocked to the holy enclave to see her.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

And of course, to prove that she’s ‘fine and healthy’, Maddie herself was the one welcoming her guests.Bookmark here

“Your Holiness, it’s been an honor—no, a great honor rather—to have seen you with my own eyes,” an elven visitor greeted her. “My people’s love for you cannot be expressed in words!”Bookmark here

“Thank you for that, Lord Berdan,” Maddie touched the elf’s forehead to bless him, “I give you and your people the heaven’s grace and blessing!”Bookmark here

The elf couldn’t speak, for he was overwhelmed with joy. Tears fells from his eyes, and he fell at the Human Saint’s feet, worshipping her.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, in a not-too-far distance away from where Maddie was welcoming her guests, were the two other saints: Ruro and Seirna. While the former was there to monitor her friend, the Saint of the Flame joined her on her watch simply because she had nothing else to do.Bookmark here

“Or you’re worried about Maddie too, Seirna?” the Beastman Saint teased her.Bookmark here

“Of course I am, you stupid dog!” was her counter. “Lady Madelaine is not yet out of trouble; if she lowers her guard, her mother can come back.”Bookmark here

“But she did seal her, right?”Bookmark here

Seirna shook her head, “Lady Madelaine only suppressed her, not completely seal. If we keep the status quo, eventually the ‘Seductress’ would emerge and overwhelm us. However…”Bookmark here

“However what?Bookmark here

“I was thinking of trying to remove Lady Madelaine’s existence.”Bookmark here

Ruro was unnerved by the proposal of the Saint of the Flame, “But you said before that it’s useless, since the ‘Seductress’ already set a foot in this world.”Bookmark here

“Indeed, I said that…” though she may have not noticed it, Seirna was nibbling on one of her fingernails, “…but Lady Ruro…haa…I…I’m losing options.”Bookmark here

The Beastman Saint fell silent as she watched her fellow saint. This was the first time Ruro saw her colleague being pushed into a corner; the usual Seirna was a confident—if not arrogant—lady.Bookmark here

“Though we try to prevent the ‘Seductress’ resurgence by avoiding negative events, it only applies to us.”Bookmark here

“Why do you mean?”Bookmark here

“Yes, it’s good that we don’t do anything bad. However, we can’t monitor everyone all over Chersea and the rest of the four realms. Somehow, somewhere in these vast worlds, a person would commit a crime, and—no matter how ‘small’ it may be—it still contributes to the strengthening of our enemy.”Bookmark here

“So…you’re saying that the ‘Seductress’ return is inevitable?”Bookmark here

“We’re only delaying the worst,” Seirna revealed. “That’s why Lady Madelaine should prepare for the conflict once it erupts; though I hate to admit it, among the six saints, she’s the most beloved…and she can unite the people behind her banner.”Bookmark here

Ruro was about to say something to the Saint of the Flame’s words, when she noticed a pair of paladins come and whisper something in Maddie’s ear. Then, the Human Saint stopped from greeting her guests—smile disappeared from her lips, and she apologized to everyone for her sudden departure. The Beastman Saint and Seirna exchanged looks, and they went to their fellow saint.Bookmark here

“What happened?” the Saint of the Flame asked.Bookmark here

“Lady Seirna, Lady Ruro,” Maddie began. “My paladins are currently engaged in a battle against some weird creatures, in an attempt to arrest the ‘Knights’. They are asking for reinforcements.”Bookmark here

“Maddie,” Ruro grabbed her shoulder, “you can’t be telling me you’re going there! It’s dangerous!”Bookmark here

“I will go,” the Human Saint confirmed. “I need to go. Those people are the ones who tried to harm Kuro, and they will pay for their insolence!”Bookmark here

Oi, calm down!” Seirna told her. “I know you’re itching for a fight, but you should remember that we need to spill as little blood as possible, or your mother would make a short work of us.”Bookmark here

“I’m aware, Your Holiness Lady Seirna. But I think you misunderstood me; while I wanted revenge for what they did to my Kuro, I’m going there not to kill them, but to make sure they won’t escape my grasp.”Bookmark here

The Saint of the Flame then proposed, “If so, then let us come with you.”Bookmark here

Maddie nodded, and answered, “I have no qualms about it. I’ll just change into my paladin armor, and we’ll head off.”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.