So What If I'm a Summoner Who Only Wants Fluffy Creatures?
Early in the morning, I was dragged out of bed. It seems that an army of [Demons] had been advancing towards a fortress to the east and my strength will be required there. Instinctively, I wanted to refuse. Something like being called to a battlefield is not something I imagine my retired life would wound up being. However, I've made a promise, not to mention that if I don't protect this place, there'll be nowhere else for me to go.
"Princess, about the search for my friends..."
"I am afraid we simply don't have the manpower right now, Sir Aurelius. You will have to be a little more patient with me."
"I suppose it's not easy after all, not with the current situation."
The fortress I'll be defending is the last line of defense. Once past it, the [Demons] will have a direct path to the capital, and once they've reached the capital, that'll be quite literally the end of the world. The situation of this kingdom, of this world, is far more severe than I realized at first. I can still remember the shock I felt the first time they showed me a map of this world and explained everything to me.
At the moment, I am on the continent of Elgardia, and upon this continent, there are four races, each segregated to their own lands. To the east lies Mankind, to the west lies the Faefolk, to the north lies the Dragonbrood, and to the south lies the Beastkin. Of the four lands, three had been ravaged and corrupted, and now only the land of the Beastkin remains, with the [Demon] horde slowly closing in with each passing day from all three sides.
This world is on its last legs and I'll be defending it on three fronts. If this were a grand strategy game, I'd say the best strategy here is to reset and start over. Unfortunately, this isn't a game, and if it is, it's a severely sadistic one filled with ill will against the player.
"Sir Aurelius... do you despise me?"
All of the sudden, while we were riding in the carriage en route to the fortress I am to help defend, the princess suddenly sprung such a question on me.
Even though it should have been simple question, I found myself hesitant to answer. Do I hate her? In my heart, I can't say that I feel such an intense emotion. However, somewhere in my mind, a certain line of reasoning says that I should. After all, she was the one who's responsible for the rift that dragged both my guildmates and I to this world, one that we have nothing to do with, and was suddenly tasked with defending it. Why shouldn't I hate her? I like to say that it's because I understand how desperate she is, giving the state of the world, but I'm afraid I'm not so much of a saint, however much I'd like to be one. Most probably, the fact that she reminds me of Aurelius has something to do with it. The fact that she's a rather cute looking girl may have some effects on my feelings as well. After all, I even took a deathly blow for her, for this girl whom I barely knew. What else could I say, other than that I have been charmed by her appearance. Such is the nature of men, I suppose.
"I am simply not happy about the situation."
About what situation? The state of the world? About being summoned? I did not say, I, myself have not yet sorted it all out. I'll leave it up for her to interpret.
"I do not expect forgiveness, but if you must blame someone, then I alone would be enough. It was I who decided on my own accord to summon you into this world. My kingdom, my people, they have nothing to do with this. Please do not begrudge them. I alone am to blame and I would do anything to appease you."
The princess is shaking. Is it my tone perhaps? Or am I just wearing a scary look on my face? Now the soldier driving the carriage is staring at me as well. If I recall correctly, she was the one of the soldiers present when we fought the [Demons] at that burning town. Has she been listening in on the conversation? Please concentrate on the road instead.
Just as I was thinking that, the carriage shook violently. We seem to have hit something and now the carriage is slanted on one side. Getting off to check revealed that we have hit a sizable rock on the road, and now one of the wheels has been broken.
"I apologize for my carelessness. The carriage will be repaired at once."
Well, that's what happens when you take your eyes off the road.
While the soldier repairs the carriage, I decided to wander off towards the river bank not too far from the side of the road. Staring at the calm flow of water and the clear blue sky reflected on the surface, it makes me think that this whole [Demon] invasion and end of the world scenario is a lie. A dark sky and a bloody stream would have fitted the mood better.
Contemplating the state of the world, I inadvertently, glance towards the water and see a face reflected upon the surface. It is the face of a youth staring intensely back at me. It took me a moment to realize it was Aurelius' face, my own face. I guess I do have a scary look on my face at the moment.
I start rubbing my face, trying to relieve the tension from it before heading back to the carriage. Yes, now it looks much better. The boy in the reflection now just looks a little melancholic.
A breeze gently blows by, sending ripples through the surface of the water, momentarily distorting my reflection and at the same time, something pure white enters the corner of my vision. Suddenly sensing a presence beside me, I jump backwards in surprise. Who could it be? The princess? Or the soldier that's always seen with her? Turns out, it is neither. The one standing before me is a girl I've never seen before, wearing a one piece dress of white, her eyes blue like a cloudless sky, her hair white, curly, and fluffy, and on her head is a pair of curled horns, like that of a goat. From the looks of her, I'd say she's a Beastkin.
"Do you need something?"
She did not reply me. All she does is keeping those blue eyes fixated upon me, those eyes that are like the open sky, seemingly pulling me into their vast void.
"Sir Aurelius, the repairs have been complete! We should get going!"
"Alright, I'm coming!"
For but a brief moment, I turned away to reply, and by the time I turned back, the girl was gone. It didn't look like there's any place for her to hide behind and the river is far too shallow and clear for anyone to disappear into. Perhaps I've seen a ghost, that wouldn't have been weird at all, considering everything that has happened. Besides, I don't have time to investigate this mysterious disappearance. I have a fortress to defend.
The fortress I am to defend is one that was build in the middle of a narrow mountain pass, tucked in between two ranges of steep mountains far too dangerous to be climbed. The fortress guards the only path on land connecting through to the capital, and both from its front or its back, a winding uphill path must be traveled in order to reach it, making it a strategically sound location for whichever side that is able to hold it. However, sound that it may be, the soldiers stationed here are nervous, reports have come in stating that the invading force of [Demons] are numbered in hundreds. In terms of numbers, the fortress, housing soldiers in the number of thousands, should not be afraid of such a small force, but that's only considering the numerical advantage. It is said that a single [Demon] may easily take out ten Beastkin soldiers, and considering how the Levels of the [Demon] encountered last time were a few times higher than that of your average soldiers, I do not doubt that these few hundred [Demon] can indeed take this fortress. Not to mention, there is apparently the presence of a Champion of the [Demons] on the field.
To put it simply, a Champion is a single unit far more powerful than the rest, an elite unit basically, or in some other games, they would be called the hero unit. In the case of the Beastkins, their hero unit, their Champion, is unfortunately, yours truly, and I alone will be responsible in turning the tide of battle, or so I was told by the commander here. Oh yes, just keep piling up all these responsibilities upon me, no pressure or anything.
Seeing as I'll be spending some time in the fortress, special quarters are provided for me. While the common soldiers have to cram themselves in a single shared space, my importance was recognized and was given a whole room of my own completed with a bed and a desk. Certainly, I am grateful for such hospitality, but by my own human wretchedness, I still feel that the room is a little too cramped for someone who has the entire success of the fortress' defense on his shoulder. Or maybe that's just the stress talking.
Tucking myself into a corner, I hold my dear Peter in my arms and caress his soft fur. Just by doing so I can feel myself settling down a little better, as if the fluffy fur had drained all of my burdens from my.
"There's is no need to fear, my liege. By our covenant, I swear that we will carry you to victory."
"Well, I'd be troubled if it were otherwise."
At the moment, I only have Peter, a [Sonic Rabbit] and Michaela, a [Guardian Angel] to rely upon. It's not a significant force, but having arrived into this world, I have gained additional perks that I did not have before. For one, the Sp system is no longer present and summoning relies entirely on Mp. This allows me to summon anyone at anytime as long as I have the Mp require to do so. However, the down side of this is that it also drains the pool of Mp I have available, and while that would never have been a problem in Elysium Online, here, there's no such thing as an Mp potion, and so there's is no way for me to quickly replenish the Mp I've lost. And so the more I summon, the less Mp I'll have left for other skills. Another thing that has changed is the fact that I can now have more than one creature summoned at the same time, meaning that I'll have a larger flexibility on battle, and though I only have two creatures to work with at the moment, that will soon change once I start retrieving the rest of my [contracts]... assuming that they also made it into this world that is.
As I began to worry that perhaps I, as a Summoner, will only ever have two creatures with hardly any attack power to work with, a knock came upon the door.
"Sir Aurelius, the [Demons], they're here!"
Looks like I won't have time to worry about what might come in the future. If I don't survive this, then it'll be game over before I even get to the point where I have to fret about not having more creatures.
The soldiers all gathered at the outermost wall of the fortress. The commander stood before them all while the princess and myself stood beside him. The princess gave a speech, and then the commander gave his own. I did not have to give one and frankly, I was far too nervous to pay any attention.
"Shall we begin, Sir Aurelius?"
"I'd say why not wait till tomorrow, but that's not an option is it?"
The commander laughed at the joke I told only to cope with the rising anxiety within me and pats me on the back.
Well, here goes nothing.
"Come forth from the heavens above and bring us the light of salvation! By our covenant, I call upon you, [Guardian Angel, Michaela]!"
And with that, a large chunk of my Mp bar disappears and a pillar of light shines upon me. From the light, an angel wrapped in silk appears, taking on her corporeal form.
"[Greater Magic Boost]!"
As usual, I cast the buff on Michaela, and in turn, without needing me to hit any buttons or say anything, she cast [Holy Weapon] and [Holy Ward] upon all soldiers standing on the wall with us. After that I proceed to cast [Greater Strength Boost] on the soldiers, but it seems that someone had beaten me to the punch when I confirm that the buff had already been added with the icon that appears beside everyone's Hp bar.
Immediately, I turn towards the princess and saw that the visual effects of magic fading from her. If I recall correctly, the princess is a Cleric with a subclass of Enchanter, at least, that is what the [Insight] skill interpreted it as, but that's just fine, as it's easy for me to understand. I can only hope there are no inaccuracies as a result of the interpretation of the game's system that came along with me to this world.
Once everyone has been buffed with magic, the figures of the [Demons] can be seen climbing uphill on the winding paths. They seem to be either mindless or unconcerned of the archers that line up the fortress walls as they made no attempt to take any cover as they traveled. Perhaps they think their tough hides are strong enough to take the arrows? Well, maybe they could before, but now, now with the weapons enchanted with the attribute of [Holy], that's going to end very differently.
The commander draws his sword and proceeds to point it down towards the [Demon] horde.
And with the most powerful voice I've ever heard in my entire life, the battle begins.
End of Chapter 4