The battalion captains were right beside him, and they could hear him. That was why Cadel deliberately veered off course, creating a wind around the distant Van and Lydon. Fortunately, his subordinates sensed his intentions and immediately turned back.
“Commander, reinforcements have arrived, so why don’t we try to dispel the magic circle first? No matter how many Red Men we kill, their numbers won’t decrease, so it’s just a pointless war of attrition.”
“Yeah, they’re so unresponsive, it’s no fun killing them, Cade―!”
When Lydon started to complain in his usual manner, Cadel stopped him in his tracks as if he had been scalded by a fire, and whispered in a low voice to Lydon, who looked down at him in bewilderment.
“Don’t call me by my first name around here.”
As Cadel slowly removed his hand and cautioned him, Lydon’s eyes widened.
“……Huh, because you’re wanted?”
Lydon tilted his head slightly in thought for a moment, but when he saw Cadel’s determined expression, he smiled softly.
“Then I guess I should call you darling.”
“What? Are you crazy?”
“Unless you want to die, just call me Commander.”
Lydon was busy giggling, enjoying Cadel’s startling reaction. To the mercenary corps, it was an ordinary appearance, just like everyday life. From an outsider’s perspective, scenes of fairies happily conversing with humans were not common.
Sorin and Dreyfe looked at Lydon with curiosity, their gazes filled with a mixture of interest, a little wariness, and the kind of reverence one might expect to see in a legendary creature.
There was no way the person in question could not feel that ardent gaze. Lydon jerked his head to look at the two men, then said with a smile on his pretty face.
“What are you looking at?”
Sorin and Dreyfe, however, did not show their displeasure at his demeanor. On the contrary, they seemed quite surprised that a fairy had spoken to them.
“A real fairy. A fairy appears in the human world…….”
“And as a member of the mercenary corps?”
They could not take their eyes off him for a moment. They knew it was impolite, but they did it anyway, for to them, the existence of a fairy named Lydon was more like a mysterious animal or spirit from another dimension than a fellow human being.
Lydon basked in the attention of the two men for a moment, then quickly grew tired of it and turned away.
“Darling, are those humans reinforcements? They look boring as hell.”
“Who did you call darling just now, fairy?”
“Don’t worry, Van, it’s not you.”
It was Cadel whom he called out, but it was Van who responded. Lydon was amused by Van’s reaction, and immediately changed targets.
Cadel left his two subordinates, who were beginning to argue with fierce intensity, and approached Sorin and Dreyfe. Avoiding eye contact as much as possible would make it easier to conceal his identity, so he consciously pretended to stare at Sellev, then turned his head away and opened his mouth.
“Stopping the army of Red Men is one thing, but preparing for Sellev’s attack is the priority. She’s a powerful demon, and if we’re sloppy in our defense, the gates will fall before we know it.”
Cadel had a point. As far as Sorin was concerned, the Red Men were not much of a threat as long as they didn’t come near the gate. He nodded in agreement with Cadel, but Dreyf frowned in displeasure.
“The Knight Order will take care of that, so why don’t the mercenary corps assist behind the scenes? Because it is our role to lead the way.”
“I was just stating an opinion. Of course, we will assist in battle, but depending on the situation, there may be cases where the Knight Order needs to assist the mercenary corps.”
“Huh, the Knight Order helping the Mercenary? For what reason? You guys should be outnumbered by the Knight Order in both skill and talent. That kind of situation won’t happen at all.”
The much younger man’s stomach twisted. Cadel replied as placidly as he could, trying to hide his dislike for Dreyfe.
“I’m not trying to pick a fight, but I’m curious as to what you’re basing your statement that the Knight Order outclassed us by several orders of magnitude.”
“What did you say?”
“Just look at the battle right in front of you…….”
Cadel’s gaze, hidden by the shadow of his hood, followed the Knight Order’s fight against the Red Men. After watching their battle for a moment, Cadel spoke without the slightest hesitation.
“It seems that my subordinates’ abilities are superior.”
“You, you *sshole……!”
“Enough, both of you.”
It was Sorin who threw cold water on the rising tension. He calmly separated them, then glared at Dreyfe. Dreyfe, grinding his teeth, looked away nervously.
“Mercenary Commander. We have only decided to join forces to gain information on the demons and monsters you have identified. With three battalions of the Guardian Knight Order, we are not lacking in combat power.”
“Of course, I am fully aware of the strength of the Knight Order. I say this in the hope that it won’t be as intense as it would be on the battlefield, but I apologize if it offends you.”
“It’s okay. The fact that the mercenary corps, which has no connection with the Empire, guards the gateway is something to be thankful for. We will repay you as soon as the battle is over, so I ask for your utmost cooperation until then..”
After skillfully stating their positions, Sorin stared at Sellev beyond the monster army. Her aura was different from the fairy’s. A pair of fiery wings flapped, sending up a spray of moist killing intent with each light flap.
A battle against monsters they had never seen before and a High Demon. If they couldn’t end it here, there was no telling what tragedy would follow. As the protectors of the Empire, the Guardian Knight Order, this was unacceptable.
“Our first priority is to dispel the magic circle, and our second is to slay the demon. If we approach to dispel the circle, we’ll inevitably run into the demon, but we’ll be on the defensive as much as possible.”
“Are there magicians in the Knight Order?”
“Jeriel, battalion captain of the Fourth Battalion. He could do it. Let Dreyfe and the mercenary corps act as escorts so that he can safely disarm the magic circle. The rest of the monsters will be taken care of by me and the knights.”
Dreyfe, barely containing his anger, snapped his eyes open at Sorin’s order.
“You’re asking me to work with the mercenary corps to escort Jeriel?”
“Don’t worry. If you think you’re in danger, I’ll be there.”
“That’s not the problem now……!”
“Any more whining would only diminish the majesty of the Knight Order, Dreyfe.”
At Sorin’s stern command, Dreyfe finally shut up. He glanced in the direction of the mercenary commander, but the damned hood prevented him from seeing the expression on his face.
“……Don’t get in my way.”
Crazy fighters with no chivalry, no honor, just money. You never knew when they were going to stab you in the back, so it was best not to get your hopes up. It was surprising that the fairy who appeared in the human world would associate with these people, but he must have been fooled by that smooth-talking mercenary commander.
Ignoring Dreyfe, who revealed so many twisted innermost thoughts, Cadel called his subordinates, who were still bickering.