Chapter 332 Urges Evacuation
"Found our target. Inside the guild."
I went back to the girls and informed them.
"It's really... In there then."
"It didn't engage you?"
"Yea. Our opponent didn't seem to notice me... It made no move."
Zadokilgias could have attacked me at any point.
We were only 10 meters apart, which is practically nothing to magic combatants with crests other than Disqualified Crest.
And even though that's beyond Disqualified Crest's range, it's actually within range for all intents and purposes with how instantaneous you can close that distance.
"Is that... Because the demon's going to launch a surprise attack when we let our guard down...?"
"Nah, Zadokilgias likely doesn't think there's any point in that. It's got its schemes instead though."
Zadokilgias isn't the only one disguising mana.
I purposely loosened up my mana control to make me look like an amateur mage when I approached the guild.
From Zadokilgias's perspective, it was probably, "Better than other adventurers here, but I could easily kill him anytime I want."
"...So like, is the demon buying time by ignoring anyone who's not immediately dangerous?"
"In short, yeah. It got nothing to do with buying time though."
I checked Dragon Veins running nearby.
Fortunately, quite a lot of the veins are running around these lands.
Connecting to Dragon Veins won't be a problem with the 『Man-eating Blade』 in our possession.
"I've told you girls our strategy on our way here. First off, we need to evacuate this town."
Our strategy is pretty large scale this time around.
Running rampage with 『Man-eating Blade』 means huge collateral damage.
Surely the damage is within tolerance, especially with the 『Nomination of Plenipotentiary Commander in States of Emergency』 I've got.... But of course that doesn't extend to lives.
First, we need to get the populace away from the town.
"...Okay then, Iris, you need to transform back into your dragon form outside town... Can you manage?"
"I should be fine now! ...I might end up stepping on a house or two if I get into town though, is that alright?"
"I'll notify you once the town has been cleared off the populace, stay put until then. You can break things all you want afterward."
Our strategy this time will likely cause a great deal of destruction in the town.
We can't make use of Iris's power otherwise since Zadokilgias is lurking in the middle of the town.
"There's no need to feel guilty... If we don't beat Zadokilgias here, forget losing their houses, people would have to part with their lives. The kingdom will compensate for their houses, but that can't be done for lives lost."
"I got it! Okay then... Don't mind if I do!"
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Iris ran off out of town afterward.
We've already decided on the spot she's going to turn back into her dragon form.
The populace will most likely run straight to the opposite of Iris once they see her.
Humans instinctively run away to the opposite direction of frightening things even if it leads to a dead end.
And dragons should be the very symbol of fear to ordinary people.
As such, Iris would show off her dragon self at the opposite side of the town's entrance.
Thus, the populace will effectively scramble out of town once they see her.
We simply don't have the leeway to lead this fight to an uninhabited location.
There's no choice but to let people take shelter on their own.
"Err... Can't you ask the town guard for help with that 『States of Emergency Thingy』 you got from the king? Would be far safer than creating a stir with Iris..."
"That would be nice... But do you really think this town's guards will be any use...?"
"Ah... Good point. Asking a random passerby for help would be more productive for sure..."
True, we could safely and reliably evacuate the town if only the town guards could be depended on to take charge.
However... That's only if we can depend those guards.
We had taken a look at the guard stations while we were scouting the area earlier, and state of affairs was just pitiful.
Forget working, those thug-like bunches were drinking in the middle of the day inside their stations.
The town lord probably fired all the upright guards and hired those ruffians to work as his underlings.
I don't believe for a second we could rely on them to help with evacuation. It would end up giving clues to Zadokilgias instead.
Meaning, we'd better off showing off Iris's dragon form to accomplish the evacuation.
Zadokilgias would likely slip among the crowd and pretend to flee, but I could just attack and stop him then.
I watch over Iris's position with detection magic.
Then she arrived at the planned spot a few minutes later.
"Well then, time to do this."
After confirming Iris's mana reaction had stopped moving, I shot up a kind of explosion magic at the sky.
An explosive sound reverberated in the vicinity.
A few seconds later--the Darkness Dragon emerged where Iris was.