Just like what Herbert said when they first entered the place, the [Chaotic Flugel] was definitely a chaotic place.
Monsters were casually tromping down the street. Moreover, although some houses still stood, most of them had their doors broken down and had plants wrapping around them. Some of those houses even had monsters like goblins living inside them.
Rows of what seemed to once be fields have now taken a poisonous color. And the bodies of those who presumably once lived here have turned to become Zombies, Skeletons, and the like.
Monsters were appearing from the forest, from the remains of the humans who once lived here, and from all things imaginable. This was a place that really drives home how transient life could be.
While thinking about that and also keeping an eye out for any surprise attacks, Herbert thought of Earl Flugel. The monsters stole the land he ruled and killed him. Herbert thought the earl to be pitiful, or he would have if the earl’s problem wouldn’t be his own eventually.
According to the letter from the future, sometime within the next 20 years, monsters would become more active. It seemed like places where people could survive were steadily decreasing. Unfortunately, the Unruh duchy faced this threat as well.
If it weren’t for future Herbert’s efforts to drive back that horde of monsters, the duchy might have ceased to exist. In fact, they had failed to protect the Unruh duchy’s outermost regions that were adjacent to forests, and had to take them back later.
Needless to be said, that was something they had to prepare for. Herbert would have to discuss it with Maxim and Rodeo later, and come up with a plan to protect their land.
Solving one issue after the other, that was how Herbert’s life has been since he received the letter from the future. Frankly, he has not had the chance to rest his mind ever since. But if he could settle this matter and save Kevin right away, perhaps he could finally take a breather.
But that was putting the cart before the horse. This was critical moment, after all. Whether Herbert would continue without losing anything or he would live on after losing something important, it would be decided by this mission.
Herbert admittedly was a greedy person. Even after his change of heart, this nature of his hasn’t changed. No matter what, that was just the kind of person Herbert von Unruh was.
I will not lose anything or anyone, not a single one. Every single one of them is important to me. I’ll protect all of them no matter what.
Despite pondering on the problems ahead, Herbert’s heart was calm.
As their group made their way through the thick forest, Herbert heard a voice coming from the top of the trees. When he looked up, a Goblin Swordsman launched a surprise attack aiming for his neck.
A Goblin Swordsman was a higher-rank Goblin species. Its subjugation difficulty rating was D. In the [Chaotic Flugel], such monsters weren’t among the strong. However, it was because they were weak that monsters like them have changed their methods of attacking. Whether it was due to some wisdom or just instinct, monsters in this place often employed hit-and-run ambushes.
However, Herbert has been the recipient of many a surprise attacks by now. As such, after jeering at the incoming attack, Herbert simply bent his upper body backwards in a wide arc. He didn’t even need to use Accelerate.
The Goblin Swordsman’s sword slashed at the air and continued its downward motion just before it hit the ground. Monsters who launched surprise attacks tended to be full of openings once their attack was avoided. So, without giving the enemy monster to follow-up, Herbert calmly thrust his sword in retaliation. His sword pierced the monster’s head, prompting it to voice out its death throes.
While Herbert was regaining his breath, Marlon and Rodeo watched the surroundings for any monsters who might have been alerted by the Goblin Swordsman’s death throes. The teamwork between the three have been gradually taking form.
“Great to see you can defeat a monster like that even without magic.”
“It’s ‘cause I’ve gotten lighter. My agility is returning to me.”
Herbert could put up a fight against most D rank monsters even without magic. However, C rank monsters were still too tough to fight without magic, so either Rodeo cuts those down mostly by himself or their group just let it pass if possible.
“The monsters from here on should be stronger, so you two stay close, alright?”
And so, while following Rodeo, Herbert and Marlon advanced forward. Thankfully, they didn’t encounter any particularly tough enemy when they finally reached the innermost depths of [Chaotic Flugel].