Saturday, October 22, 2022 @

Chapter 187 Trading city of Alteriore

 After returning from the neighboring country, I immediately headed to the trading city of Alteriore by horse-drawn carriage.
 I made several encampments along the way, resting in villages and towns, and arrived at the huge walled city after three days of travel.
 "This is Alteriore, huh...? I've never actually been here before..."
 I get off the carriage that has stopped in the middle of the road, and look up at the city wall from outside the city. But I called out the name of the city with a bitter thought.
 Alteriore, the eastern city, was a provincial city built on a small hill and was the center of the eastern part of Slayers Kingdom. It was a prosperous trading city where many goods were gathered from all over the country.
 The size of the city was second only to the royal capital. It also serves as a fortress against the attacks of demons in the eastern part of the kingdom, and the spacious town is surrounded by a circular wall.
 However... the impregnable walls have now collapsed, leaving a huge hole in the ground.
 Piles of rubble are piled up around the hole, and a great number of people can be seen working to remove the rubble.
 "It's a terrible sight... the largest trading city and fortress city in the east is in shambles."
 I sigh deeply as I look at the cruelly destroyed city walls.
 The city of Alteriore, which once boasted of its prosperity as the largest city in the east, bears the scars of war so clearly that even from the outside one can see them.
 The city walls were broken down and rubble was scattered, and the corpses of demons were scattered here and there. Since leaving the corpses unattended might cause a plague, mage-like figures are gathering the corpses and burn them over a fire.
 The streets where many travelers and peddlers used to pass by are deserted, and it seems that only my carriage is heading there, even though some people are leaving Alteriore.
 "The battle for the defense of Alteriore... I have missed an important event, it ..."
 I muttered bitterly, remembering my knowledge of the game.
 The battle for the defense of Alteriore.
 It is an event that occurs in the latter half of the scenario in the game 'DunBrave'.
 An army of demons led by a demon tribe has invaded Alteriore, a trading city in the eastern part of the kingdom.
 The main character, Leon, leads his friends to confront the army of demons and defend the city from them.
 In this event, there is an achievement rate called "Defense Achievement Rate", which increases as the player conquers several quests that occur in the scenario.
 If the achievement rate does not reach a certain level, the game is defeated. The city is destroyed and the city of Alteriore itself disappears.
 Even if the player manages to defeat the enemy, the lower the achievement rate is, the more paralyzed the city becomes. Following the event, the number of facilities available in Alteriore will decrease, and some NPCs will be killed in battle, which will affect the subsequent scenarios.
 "The demon army has been driven out, but the walls have been destroyed and the defenses are down. Some stores are out of service and some of the weapons and items are unavailable... I'd say 70% of the strategy has been accomplished."
 Considering that the city disappears when the percentage is less than 50%, should I consider that the minimum passing score is achieved?
 However, the game is over when Leon himself is dead. Other than Leon, there must have been others who died in the war.
 Although it was inevitable, I regret that I could not participate in the event because I was in a neighboring country.
 I was definitely planning to participate in this battle, but... it seems that the event occurred much earlier than planned.
 Or, if I had participated in the battle, the city might not have suffered so much damage.
 Although I don't think that my expedition to the Maafern Kingdom was a mistake, I still feel a bitter emotion.
 "My Lord..."
 Nagisa came down from the carriage and called out to my back as I was feeling so unhappy.
 Without looking back, I ask Nagisa, who was the only one in the party who had participated in the battle.
 "...Are you sure that the one who was leading the army of demons was 'General of the Flamebloods'?"
 "Yes, I heard he called himself that. I believe it was that demon tribe that brought down the walls of this castle."
 Nagisa answers my question.
 I have already received a report that Nagisa and some secret spies under the Baskerville family participated in the battle for the defense of Alteriore that took place while I was away.
 Their participation in the defense was no coincidence. The secret service had received the news of the gathering of demons around the city in advance, and Nagisa decided to go to Alteriore to rescue them.
 When Nagisa arrived in Alteriore, there were already soldiers and adventurers hired by the lords of the city. Among them was Leon Brave the Hero.
 "Brave happened to have come to a nearby town to help defeat demons, and he heard that the city was about to be attacked. So he came here to save the city which is about to be attacked by the Demon King's army."
 "I guess he's a hero after all... but I can't help but feel that it's bad luck to get involved in this incident by chance."
 I shrug my shoulders, half in exasperation and half in admiration.
 Even though heroines like Aeris and Nagisa have been taken away by me, Leon is still the central character in this story.
 The power of destiny that draws me to the center of the battlefield is, after all, the hero's power, isn't it?
 "The demon king's army that attacked this city divided its forces into four groups and marched from the east, west, south, and north."
 Nagisa continues her explanation with a mysterious look on her face.
 "I volunteered to fight as a volunteer soldier and was assigned to the city walls to deal with the attack from the east. Brave was assigned to the north wall. We were fighting against demons climbing up the walls and flying in the sky, and just when we thought we had finally defeated the enemy... the northern wall was breached. And soon the news of Brave's death was brought to the east wall."
 "Hmm... so you didn't see Leon die in person?"
 "Yes... but I heard the story. The one who breached the castle walls was the general of the enemy—a demon tribe calling himself the 'General of the Flamebloods' Bolfedusa. Brave went into single combat with the demon who breached the walls, and it is said that they almost fought each other to death.
 Nagisa turns her eyes to the lower part of the wall that has been breached.
 There is a pile of rubble around the wall, but there is no rubble in one part of the wall.
 No... it is not so much that there is no debris, but rather that the ground itself is gone. There is a large hole in the ground, the size of a truck, that could swallow it up.
 "That's a hole made by the battle between the two. It seems that Brave and the enemy general fell into the hole with their weapons piercing each other's bodies. As far as I know, no bodies were found."
 "A big hole. I see... the Abyss of Alteriore has opened."
 "Hmm...? My lord, do you know that hole?"
 "Yes, well..."
 Nagisa tilted her head and asked me. I nodded without hiding.
 The Abyss of Alteriore was a dungeon beneath the trading city of Alteriore.
 It was a dungeon that could be opened and entered by fulfilling some conditions.
 Probably, the current entrance to the dungeon was opened by a different route due to the large hole drilled in the ground by the battle between Leon and Bolfedusa.
 "With the enemy general defeated, the remaining demon army retreated. As for me, I left Alteriore to report to the Lord, so I do not know what happened after that. I have heard that adventurers will be sent to explore the hole..."
 "I see. Then I'll have to see for myself what happens next. Let's dive into the abyss and see if Leon is still alive."
 I take Nagisa back to the carriage.
 Then, I order the coachman to start for the entrance to the city.
 The trading city of Alteriore.
 This is the first time since I became a Zenon Baskerville player that I have set foot in this city, which I have visited many times in the game.

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