When I woke up, I found Outlaw City in an uproar.
Even though it is time for day to break, it is still dark outside, the red moon is still hanging in the sky, and ghouls are going berserk on the streets.
Could this possibly be……
“It must be the ‘Rampage’……”
The all-important keyword that that person who called herself Milia mentioned. Her prediction had come true.
It seems that an emergency meeting has been called to session at the base to determine the magic swordsmen’s response.
I, however, sneak out of the base and stand atop a high building, having put on my jet-black longcloak.
“Finally, this moment has come……!”
Without doubt, this…… is the real deal.
This is a real life, nay, a larger than life vampire event!
I chuckle profoundly from behind my mask while making my jet-black longcloak flutter.
So the keywords this time are ‘Red Moon,’ ‘Rampage,’ and ‘Queen of Blood’……
Oh, and there’s also that Ancient Vampire Hunter character. I would very much love to make contact with her again during this event.
It would probably be very difficult, but I’ve got to set things up towards the most fun route.
This flow of events seems to indicate that the Queen of Blood is going to be the final aim.
Which means I can mess up the Red Tower and loot it during the commotion. Two birds with one stone. As for everything else, I can just maintain a high level of flexibility and play by the ear.
Nee-san still hasn’t made it back yet. But she’s a tough lady, so I’m sure she’ll be fine.
So then, let’s go hunt some ghouls while spreading word of the event.
The Magic Swordsmen Guild has lost the initiative.
Even though the gathered first-rate magic swordsmen are managing to hold the rampaging ghouls back, the sheer number of ghouls, on top of their strengthened state due to the Red Moon, gives the magic swordsmen no choice but to retreat.
“Iron Arm Glein has also been wounded! We’re drawing back!”
“You fucktards! You guys are supposed to hold that position!Who the fuck is going to take your place?!”
“Like we give a fuck! We’ve got someone injured here! Or what, are you telling us to die?!”
The magic swordsmen on the large street that find themselves encircled by ghouls are desperately putting up resistance, but the seemingly endless flood of ghouls is steadily whittling them down.
“Everyone! Please do not make arbitrary decisions by yourselves!”
Claudia, the elite staff member in charge of leading this mission to subjugate the Queen of Blood, is shouting at the top of her lungs. But morale is scraping rock bottom, and the front line collapsing is now merely a matter of time.
The street is already buried under piles of ghoul corpses.
As expected of magic swordsmen skilled enough to be accepted for this mission, the individual strength of each and every one of them is overwhelming in comparison to ghouls.
However, none of them imagined such an enormous number of ghouls to descend onto them.
This is surely a crime that’s been planned and prepared for over a very long period of time.
To think that they brought along so many magic swordsmen and yet still cannot even reach the foot of the Red Tower. So this is the power of someone who reigns over a third of Outlaw City, the Queen of Blood……
Even within the Magic Swordsmen Guild, it’s long been a taboo to touch Outlaw City. Claudia now understands the reason why, and curses the decision made by the upper echelons of the Guild who ignored it.
“Those accursed old fogies……”
Claudia mutters language that she would normally never say out loud. That sexual harassment fogy who rubs her ass every chance he gets, that pervy fogy who always stares at her chest, that deluded fogy who persistently invites her to his room at nighttime, and then…… ahhh god, there’s no end to them.
She decides to ignore the orders from above and command a retreat. If those fogies demote her for it, then she’ll sock them one in their faces then resign.
However, they are currently stranded within the sea of ghouls.
Retreat would not be easy either.
“It’s already too late, huh……”
She laughs in self-mockery. This is a call that she could have made much earlier on.
Having delayed making this decision to save herself for the sake of protecting herself makes her the biggest fool out of them all.
Claudia draws the sword on her waist and steels her resolve.
She has no intention of putting her own life on the line for those accursed fogies from the Guild, and she honestly doesn’t care a whit what happens to these self-serving musclebrained magic swordsmen.
However, the responsibility of her having delayed this decision is something that she will bear herself.
“Retreat! I’ll take the rear!”
In the first place, though she is now on the staff side of the Guild, her roots is as a magic swordswoman. Despite how she may look, she has confidence in her sword arm.
“Hell yea! She said retreat!”
“You said it, the rear is yours! Seeya then!”
The magic swordsmen quickly withdraw from the front line.
Even while slashing at the ghouls, Claudia is thinking ‘at least one person could have stayed behind to help!’
The ghouls are pressing in. The magic swordsmen are backing off. Then there is Claudia, struggling strenuously while trying to match the others’ pace of retreat.
However, the burden of shouldering the rear guard all by herself is enormous, and she quickly reaches her limit.
One foot slips on the ground slick with blood. A ghoul pounces.
Then a magic swordsmen clad in jet-black descends before her.
“Be annihilated…… Jet-Black Whirlwind.”
The sword in the jet-black magic swordsman’s hand grows to a length several times his height. Or so she thinks, the instant before a jet-black whirlwind roars all around.
All the surrounding ghouls are sliced into pieces. Within a literal blink of an eye, what previously seemed to be an endless sea of ghouls has been entirely annihilated.
“Ho-, how could this be……”
Claudia, having fallen onto her butt, looks up at the jet-black magic swordsman in dumb amazement.
That ludicrous strength that could wipe out in an instant a group of ghouls that even first-rate magic swordsmen had no choice but to retreat in the face of.
Claudia is also a magic swordswoman, so she understands. She understands how unbelievable this man’s strength is.
Even the magic swordsmen who had been racing to be the first to get away have stopped in their tracks to stare in disbelief at the jet-black magic swordsman.
“The Rampage is already upon us…… it is already beyond the means of you lot……”
So he says with a voice that sounds like a rumble from the depths of the earth while turning to face his back to them.
“Wh-, who exactly are you……”
So Claudia asks that back.
“Mine name is Shadow…… he who lurks within shadows, he who hunts shadows……”
Leaving those words behind, he flutters his jet-black longcoat while walking upon the carpet of blood. Claudia can only dazedly watch that back grow further away.
“So that… was Shadow……”
Every single person finds themselves shuddering.
All of them have heard of that name. He is the man who attacked a magic swordsman academy, obliterated a holy ground, and handily overwhelmed Princess Iris and the Goddess of War even when they came at him together during the Festival of the God of War.
However, not a single person present here actually believed those rumors, thinking themselves smarter than that.
Though it is undoubtable that there was an incident, the specific details about what went down are dubious, to put it mildly.
Above all, who would believe that there is someone capable of overwhelming both Iris and the Goddess of War at the same time?
Even Claudia did not really believe that rumor. It is exactly because she is a professional of the Magic Swordsmen Guild, and not a mere layman who knows nothing about the sword, that she determined that story to be nonsensical.
However, after seeing his strength up close just now, Claudia can no longer deny those rumors. If it is Shadow, then such evident superiority might not be so unbelievable after all……
But then that begs the question, why is he here in Outlaw City?
Also, why did he help out members of the Magic Swordsmen Guild……?
The Guild has declared a bounty on both him and his organization, Shadow Garden. There should be no reason for him to save them.
Could it be that he has some reason that drove him to do everything that he did? Could it possibly be that there is something much deeper going on behind the incidents that he was involved in?
She should look into it.
“Shadow…… I will repay you this debt one day……”
So Claudia declares in a soft voice towards that back that by now grown much smaller.
Kotsu, kotsu, rings his receding footsteps.
In the direction where he is heading soars the Red Tower. And above his head shines a crimson moon.