It has been a few days since we entered the mountain range.
The area is dyed white with snow, in which my feet sink up to my ankles.
"My Lord, where are you?"
"Oh, there you are! Let's go, Panda."
Frau and Panda, who went on a reconnaissance mission, have just returned.
They seemed to have gotten used to the temperature in the mountains, and Frau looked fine even in light clothing.
I envy the high body temperature of the fairies.
But still, when she stops moving, she seems to feel the cold, and sometimes she dips into my scarf for warmth.
It can be very annoying for me.
"I'm going to make some hot tea, so please rest."
Kaede took out a kettle from her luggage and put water to boil.
I sat under a tree and listened to the report.
"And how is the fort?"
"There are about fifty soldiers who looked to be demons. The fort also acts as a prison, with about 20 captive dark elves. I've seen several being tortured and weakened, as well as a burly man who looked like a commander."
"What does the fort look like?"
"Apparently the whole structure is a ruin. It is very old, and is being repaired in multiple places."
I see, that's interesting. They didn't build it from scratch, they occupied it as a fort.
"It's going to take a long time if we take a detour. It's much faster to go through the fort. I've also seen a demon riding a wyvern, so traveling by air will be tricky."
"Here's your tea."
I grabbed the cup and took a sip.
Taking a detour will take too long, and flying isn't a good option either.
I'll have to go through the fort.
I hated Elohim's idea of taking on the Demon King, but I guess I have no choice. After this, I'll be in Demon King Rudra's sights.
And I'm curious about the dark elves that are being held captive.
They were probably sent to rid the mountain range of the demon forces.
I looked at Kaede and Frau.
"I will follow you wherever you go, Master."
"I will do as you wish. Frau is the Lord's slave."
It was decided.
We headed straight for the fort.
The demons who were standing guard were the first to notice and readied their bows.
"This road is blocked by order of Demon King Rudra. No one is allowed to go further. If you don't want to die, turn back now."
"I have no intention of dying, but I won't leave!"
"Foolish human, do you think you can beat us? Kill him!"
More than ten arrows were launched at us.
But Kaede intervened and shot them down with her iron fans.
"Damn it, don't let them enter the fort! Call the mages, otherwise Arken-Sama will kill us!"
The mages lined up on the outer wall.
They chanted a spell and used ice magic.
A fierce wind of cold air rushes down from the fort.
"You think they're going to defeat us with cold air? Don't make me laugh, you guys are no opponent for my master. Frigid Fire!"
The blue flame cuts the enemy's magic in half and hits the outer wall where the mages are.
The outer wall instantly froze and countless ice-encased mages came into view.
Kaede, whose eyes were as cold as ice, turns around and flashes her usual smile.
"We have removed all the obstacles."
"Wow, Kaede's magic is as relentless as ever."
Frau peeked through an opening in my scarf, followed by Panda.
Kaede bowed politely, but her tail wagged prolifically and, from the looks of it, she had the air of someone who wants to be praised.
I petted her head, and her fox ears flopped down and perked up with glee.
She hugged me and buried her face in my chest.
Her long white eyelashes sway, and her lips look even pinker than usual, maybe because of the snow.
Now, let's go inside.
I knocked down the large metal gate in one fell swoop. We then entered the fort with ease.
"Intruders! We will not allow you to harm Arken-Sama!"
Several enemies waiting in ambush thrust their spears at us.
Their expressions changed drastically the moment their spear tips split.
"How is he so strong, I couldn't pierce his body!"
Just by exerting pressure in my abs, the tips shattered.
The demon soldier screamed and ran away.
Rosuke comes out of the seal and finishes off all the demons.
In addition, Chupi and Kuratan were also summoned, and together with Frau, they were sent to rescue the dark elves.
Kaede and I headed to the center of the fort.
Before us stood a large, armed man.
"My name is Arken, one of the three demon generals serving the Demon King Rudra."
"My name is Toru, of the Manyu Brigade."
"Toru of the Manyu.... Brigade. I don't know you. I don't think you're the hero."
Arken holds up a two-meter tall iron club.
It seems to have been stained with the blood of many opponents, as its tip was reddish black, giving it an intimidating air.
I drew the greatsword on my back and pulled Kaede and Rosuke back.
"I'm just a simple warrior."
"Ha, a simple warrior you say? Not a heavy warrior, or a warrior of the beast race, or a berserker? You expect me to believe that? Tell me your real job."
"I'm not lying..."
"If that's true, then I can deduce that your level is above 500.Although, judging by how calm you are, you seem to have a lot of confidence in yourself, so I'd hazard a guess that you're above level 1000. This will be interesting."
The aura surrounding Arken becomes more intimidating. He gives off a murderous air.
This guy is just as intimidating as Pione's grandfather.
I don't know his level, but he's definitely very strong.
"Kaede, what's this guy's level?"
"So you have a beast possessing appraisal. What a cheater."
Level 1217, huh, that number is bad without any armor upgrade.
The demon king here is definitely stronger than Lisa.
Speaking of which, I hope that club he's holding is normal and doesn't help him level up.
I've been thinking about this for some time now, but I haven't heard anything related to sacred arms since I got here.
Maybe it was considered common knowledge and they just didn't talk about it. I could be wrong though.
Arken and I cross weapons.
A violent metallic crash echoes through the air, and the snow beneath our feet is swept away in a shockwave.
We shoved each other off, and as soon as our feet touched the ground, our weapons crossed again.
"Great fire dance!"
The now-flaming iron club swung in front of my face.
He used the momentum to unleash a series of even more powerful blows that pushed me over the edge.
Don't tell me… You're a magic swordsman!?
"My job is [Dancer]. The more I dance, the faster and more powerful my attacks will be."
Dance... I've never heard of that job.
Maybe it's a special one that only exists here?
His attacks won't be as predictable as I thought. The blow can come from anywhere.
I have to find an opening somehow.
Arken raises his iron club with a single strong swing.
I pushed my head forward and the iron club made contact with my skull.
The next moment, the club shattered.
"What!? My weapon!"
With one swift movement, I swung the greatsword towards Arken's neck.
Seconds later, Arken's body falls to the ground, cut diagonally.
Huh, destroying weapons by headbutting is useful. Though you can only do it if you have my level.
"Master, that was awesome!"
"Yes! After all, you are the Master."
"The way you won was something very abnormal, but I guess that's to be expected of you. You always find a way to do the most outrageous things, my lord."
Before I knew it, Frau had joined us.
Behind her were several dark elf soldiers, faces pale with fear.
I put the sword away in its sheath and approached them.
"I came here to help, is everyone okay?"
"Y-Yes, thank you very much... Do you have any medicine? There are still a lot of captives who can't move."
"Lead me to them."
We walked further into the fort to the area where the cells were.