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The very moment Asley arrived at the Adventurers’ Guild in Beilanea, he was greeted by the sweat-drenched Duncan.
The other adventurers, all still hunched over, were surprised to see Asley suddenly appear.
Asley himself had no time to react to them, however.
“I’m using the Teleports, Duncan!”
The Resistance, under Irene’s supervision, had officially entrusted the Adventurers’ Guild with sets of Teleportation Spell Circles.
Guild Master Scott had made it so that the Circles would all connect, enabling one to teleport to other Guild branches throughout the Nation.
Guided by Duncan, Asley went into the room only authorized personnel could enter.
“This one’s for Radeata! And this one, Romanetown!”
“I’ll contact the other branches to make sure no one else uses them for now!”
Asley said just that and vanished into the Radeata-bound Teleportation Spell Circle.
From this moment on, Asley was to run around to every town and defend them against the effect of the Devil King’s resurrection.
Meanwhile, at the Scarlet Devil Wetlands…
Pochi and Lylia were trying their best to control a situation that had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
Today, attendees of the magic classroom were here under Pochi and Lylia’s supervision to do battle against monsters and level themselves up.
The Scarlet Devil Wetlands was already a Danger Zone where many powerful monsters roamed free — and the resulting pressure from the Devil King’s resurrection made things uncontrollable. All the mages were down, including Lina, Fuyu, Anri, and Claris.
The monsters, on the other hand, were not immobilized — instead, they went berserk.
Pochi and Lylia had quickly noticed that and immediately rushed to the front. While everyone else was stuck in one place, only the two who had survived the era of the Devil King were able to move right now.
“I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly!”
“But…! But! This isn’t like what God said at all! There was supposed to be some time before the Fetal Stage! This… this can’t be for real!”
Even Lylia and Pochi could not hide their impatience.
More than ten mages were immobilized, and it was up to the two left standing to protect them all. The monsters, empowered and turned berserk by the Devil King’s resurrection, prevent them from carrying everyone to the Teleportation Spell Circle.
“Lina! Can you stand!?”
“Hah… hah hah…!”
Lina was holding down her own shoulders.
She could hear Pochi’s voice, but could not give a response — that was how powerful the Devil King’s influence was.
“It’s dangerous to stay here! I’ll hold them off — you take everyone back to the Teleportation Spell Circle!”
“What!? But there’s still so many of them!”
The group was surrounded by more than a dozen powerful monsters, and even more of them were on their way from the deeper parts of the region.
Together, the two managed to keep the situation barely under control and prevent casualties thus far.
But Pochi did not believe that Lylia could handle things on her own.
“It’s all right… I have this.”
She drew another sword from the sheathe on her back — the sword she usually would not wield.
“That’s… Giorno’s sword…!”
“Hurry! I can’t stay for very long, either!”
“…! Yes, ma’am!”
Pochi got to see Lylia’s other side once again — the side that had been sealed away in an era long past. The face that Lylia, after resurfacing in the present day, had only ever shown once — during her previous battle against Billy.
The sight of Lylia wielding two swords, one her own and the other Giorno’s, sent a chill down Pochi’s spine.
She was already drunk on carnage.
One monster tried to attack her, but then its head disappeared as if it had never had one in the first place.
“I’MMA KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU!!”
Suddenly, the earth was hit by a tremendous impact.
A large fissure then opened up, swallowing the monsters. Indeed, Lylia had just split the earth under her feet.
[W-wow…! It’s like she’s as strong as when she was a Holy Warrior!]
Pochi carried the mages with her mouth, transporting them to the Teleportation Spell Circle.
Eventually, she realized something important.
[…By now, Master should be going around to protect the towns… But what about Eddo…!?]
As Pochi guessed, Asley was nowhere near the capital city of T’oued.
That, and the fact that Lylia and Pochi — the two others who had survived the previous iteration of this crisis — were here, meant there was no one in Eddo who stood a chance against the Devil King.
“Warren, tell me THAT isn’t real.”
“No, Miss Irene, I don’t prefer to tell lies. And I must admit… we have been outwitted.”
“Damn that Billy… Just how twisted can his mind get!?”
Shortly after Asley had teleported to Beilanea, and at the same time as Pochi and Lylia’s attempted escape from the Scarlet Devil Wetlands, Irene and the others were facing today’s biggest threat that was fast approaching the southern region of Eddo.
An army of countless Alphas and Betas — and behind them, Cleath and Billy.
Endless additional waves of the repulsive creatures were appearing from dozens of nearby Teleportation Spell Circles.
“Holy shit! Again with those ugly mother–“
“They’re called… Alphas, right? Those things that look like big lumps of muscle? …And what is THAT OTHER THING!?”
“Never seen or heard anything like it before. Don’t let your guard down…!”
Bruce, Betty, and Blazer, their weapons drawn out, slowly took steps back.
“I don’t know what is going on, but if we don’t get through this, there will be no tomorrow for us — that is for sure.”
“Ryan… I never thought we’d get to fight alongside one another again.”
“Well, well! The honor is all mine, Mister so-called Scarlet Blade.”
“Hmph, the mages should stay back. This is the time for us warriors to shine.”
“Natsu, Idéa, and Midors — you are to take the rear and follow Miss Irene’s lead.”
Before long, through Telepathic Calls made by Trace, adventurers gradually gathered to the south of Eddo. However, many of them were almost immediately demoralized by the despairing sight that lay ahead of them.
“…Miss Irene,” Warren said, “I ought to rally the Resistance’s forces. Can I leave this area to you for now? I promise not to take long.”
“Who do you think I am? Hurry and go! Also, you should gain some levels for yourself too — one of these days.”
“Yes, of course.”
With a wave of Warren’s hand, the Teleportation Spell Circle under him activated, and he quickly disappeared. He was headed to the hideout of the Resistance, from where he would bring back as much military might as he could.
Trace, standing next to Irene, spoke up,
“Contact with Team Silver General successfully established, ma’am. They will arrive in a few minutes.”
“A few minutes… right.”
Irene was far from optimistic — she was unsure whether or not the forces currently available would even be able to hold on for that long.
The Alphas and Betas numbered a total of almost ten thousand.
Irene, having learned of what even one Alpha was capable of, could not help but scowl at the wave of those creatures.
[Things are only going to get worse and worse from here, aren’t they? These things must be close to SS-ranked difficulty-wise, and then there’s Billy and… probably the Cleath guy Asley mentioned. Considering that they both have Devil transformations as their trump cards, it’s highly likely that we’ll have a hard time… or even get wiped out.]
Irene bit her fingernails and closed her eyes, thinking hard.
“What’s this? Irene the INVINCIBLE Sprout is struggling already? And you call yourself the leader!?”
A woman landed lightly and stood on Bruce’s head.
And as it turned out, she was someone who had remained quite vivid in Irene’s memory.
“Y-you… I remember you! Melchi!?”
“Nahahaha! Long time no see, my li’l Irene! And I see Billy over there, too — and boy, he’s OLD! One hell of a class reunion I’m having today, eh?”
“Hmph, and you haven’t changed one bit! I did hear your name thrown around by Asley and Team Silver, but the part where you were studying under Tūs… now THAT was unexpected.”
“Well that’s rude — I’m your senior in that front, you know!”
Melchi arrogantly groaned up her nose.
But it was true — Irene had studied under Tūs at some point, and Melchi had done so long before her.
“Hmph! What, are you still upset that you couldn’t get the top graduate spot from the Magic University?”
“Hahaha! Maaaybe! Anyway, looks like those guys are gonna move soon — C’mon, I’ll help in any way I can!”
“Fine, I’ll squeeze every last drop of usefulness out of you! Prepare to engage!”
Irene shouted at the top of her lungs to get everyone fired up.
The combatants — less than two hundred in numbers — shouted back.
Billy quietly ordered his creatures.
And so began the march of the great forces of evil… and the battle for the fate of not only Eddo, but also the world itself.