“Please, help us! I beg you!”
Kneeling on the ground while ignoring the 3 knights’ words, the young woman grabbed my leg and begged with tears all over her face. She was calm just now, but it seemed like she had been at her wit’s end this whole time; the miseries in her heart just now overflowed, it seemed.
For me, it was kind of awkward. I mean, I didn’t do anything so high and mighty that she had the need to beg like this.
“Uhh, I’m not comprehending the situation, so please stand up and we can talk.”
When I said so with a confused expression on my face, she staggeringly stood on her feet and began to explain the situation.
Turned out, the four people I just saved were actually the second princess of Anartia Kingdom and her escort knights. Their country was suddenly attacked by a neighboring country which had somehow become overwhelmingly stronger than them.
As the imperial capital fell, the King dispatched a group of knights to assist his daughter escape while his sons and himself stayed to fight to their last breaths. He also had another daughter, but she was politically married to the crowned prince of a different country by which Anartia was attacked. In other words, they turned their backs on Anartia and decided to invade instead of keeping up the relationship between the two countries.
Then, while on the run, the knights and the second princess were assaulted by a large group of opportunistic bandits so their number decreased from 20 knights down to 3. That was when I appeared and shot down the bandits.
Originally, the group of bandits contained more than a hundred of them, but after fighting with the knights who could also use magic, they got worn down by a lot. At the end of the fight, most of them stayed behind to treat their wounds while the lightly injured ones set out to take their loots back to their base. That’s where I appeared and wiped them all out.
“That’s why! Please, please save my parents, my people, I’ll give you anything you want!”
“Princess! That’s just impossible! He may have killed all these bandits, but he won’t be able to stand against Rivell’s army!”
Rivell was the name of the neighboring kingdom who invaded Anartia despite their friendly relationship established through the first princess’ political marriage. I had a feeling I might know these guys, though I wasn’t too sure about what to expect exactly.
“It’s fine even if I have to become your slave, so I beg you, please help my people!!”
The princess grasped my shirt and yelled in despair.
Honestly, it pained me to see such a beauty putting on that kind of compeltely lifeless expression. Even if she didn’t offer me herself, I would still agree to give it a try, but since she initiated the negotiation like that before I could say anything, I didn’t want to reject it. As long as I can make her happy afterwards, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with accepting this kind of agreement.
“I understand. I’ll do my best.”
“Yes. However, I can’t promise you certain victory, that’s just impossible to predict.”
“That’s okay! That much is already enough! Then I, Ilianne Julie Anartia, shall vow before Mother Universe’s eyes to devote myself to you as your personal possession to all eternity!”
She suddenly made such a formal and serious oath. It appeared to be quite a huge problem, judging by the reaction of the knights. They looked like they were staring straight into the depths of hell with demons pushing them on the back.
At first, I thought it was only a verbal promise, but right when her words ended, the sky darkened and a lightning bolt crashed down towards princess Ilianne. That bolt was abnormally fast that not even my empowered vision could follow its speed. Thus, I was unable to move and save her; I could only stand and watch as the bolt pierced her chest right in the middle.
Then, before I could even blink my eyes, another lightning bolt struck down; this time, it aimed at the top of my head.
Of course, it was at least as fast as the previous one, but maybe it was even faster, I couldn’t really tell because it was just too fast.
I ate the lightning bolt head-on, yet I took no damage. The only thing happened to me was . . . something showed up inside my head. If I focused my mind a little bit, I could see the symbol of a white rose glowing in the middle of my consciousness. Then when I looked at Ilianne——.
“Ah . . .”
She had the exact same symbol of a rose in the middle of her chest, the only difference was the color. Hers was a black rose, while the one appeared inside my head was white. She was also staring at her chest with a complicated expression on her face.
“You bastard, you made the princess establish a worldly vow!!”
One of the three knights got really angry and snapped at me, but I easily dodged his attack and took some distance from them. I didn’t want to randomly murder people.
“Jerry, enough! It’s something I decided on my own.”
After scolding the knight, Ilianne quickly ran up to me with eyes full of expectations.
Ahh, I guess I have no choice but to live up to that burning hopes in her beautiful eyes.
“Alright, which way is Anartia?”
“Along this route.”
Ilianne pointed at the direction opposite from where they came from.
“Moving in a group would be too slow. You three should stay here, I’ll take Ilianne to Anartia and do my part of the agreement.”
Not waiting for them to speak, I gave Ilianne a piggyback and started running with all my might. Of course, knowing my empowered strength, I easily reached the speed of a car running on the highway while holding my Dragonbow in my left hand and supporting Ilianne’s body with my right.
Ilianne was really scared of the speed as she was trembling greatly, but she just closed her eyes and clung to me tightly without saying a single word. She really was a stubborn girl, but not too obstinate, which I think was a good thing.
* * *
Arriving at the edge of the forest after a couple minutes of running nonstop, we could clearly observe the situation at Anartia Kingdom from outside. Smoke and fire were almost everywhere, there were also people running away and soldiers pouring into its territory.
“The imperial capital is that way.”
“OK, we’re going there. Hang on tight.”
I continued to carry Ilianne on my back while running. I knocked down any obstacle in my path with my fist and quickly opened a straight path to the imperial capital. I was too fast and too strong for common soldiers to deal with, so I easily arrived at our destination after around fifteen minutes of running and punching my way through.
At the gate into the imperial capital, there were so many guards and elite soldiers that I wasn’t completely confident in bringing Ilianne inside just like that. They might be able to hurt her while I charge into a crowd with her being on my back like that. That’s why I left the talking to my Dragonbow.
“Let me open up a path inside.”
“. . . okay.”
I put Ilianne down and readied Dragonbow. From 30 meters away, I hid behind a tree and pulled the string to materialize a black arrow. Aiming at a leader-looking guy in the middle of that crowd of people, I let go of the string.
The arrow pierced straight into his heart and stopped moving forward. After five seconds—an amount of time enough to gather all the attention of other guards around him—the arrow exploded.
This time it wasn’t even the tiny explosion like earlier, but a huge one. It was big enough to wipe out that whole crowd of Rivell soldiers and poked a gigantic hole on the gate into Anartia’s imperial capital.
From there, I led Ilianne walking into the city while having my Dragonbow ready at all times. The moment I saw soldiers running towards us, I blew them up with an explosive arrow. If I saw magic flying at us, I used my fist to crush it. And if I saw a barrage of arrows coming at us, I blew them away with a few explosive arrows of mine.
“Hold it right there, intruder! Who are you to——”
Then, a General-looking man came running towards us on a horse. He had the same uniform with other Rivell soldiers, and he also wore the same kind of killing intent with others he moment he saw princess Ilianne.
Even a baby would realize right away he was an enemy. He never had any intention to talk, he just called out to us to distract us and then deliver a one-hit-kill attack. Having came to this conclusion, I didn’t even let him finish speaking and once again fired off another arrow at almost the speed of sound. The guy didn’t even get to see the arrow before having it pierce straight through his head. The black arrow disappeared right after that.
His body was knocked backwards due to a certain amount of inertia and fell right onto the ground, unble to continue breathing.
After a brief silence, some of the soldiers ran away, some manned up and launched suicide attacks at us. Seeing that, Ilianne was frightened and grasped my clothes so tightly that she almost tore them apart.
“It’s ok, leave it to me.”
I wasn’t sure how to deal with that, so I just casually turned around, stroked her hair a little bit while saying some half-assed reassuring words. Even I knew those words sounded pretty lame, but somehow she was convinced and relaxed her tension, though just a tiny bit.
I fired a couple more arrows towards different directions and blew up crowd after crowd of Rivell soldiers.
My job was pretty simple. I only needed to headshot the captains of those groups first, then when they panicked, I sent in explosive arrows. Thus, I advanced through the main street of the city smoothly without much problems.
Then finally, I arrived at the royal castle.