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Really great song…
Once he confirmed the soldiers in the surroundings scrambling to retreat from the direction of Horant with the person appearing to be the general of the enemy having fallen off the horse, Ma Carme took a deep breath and sighed.
“Haaa. It’s fiiiinally over.” (Ma)
While the messenger let the tension escape from his shoulders in the same way, he noticed that the soldiers around them also showed expressions of relief.
Just because they are more or less accustomed to the battlefield, it doesn’t change the fact that they are afraid of fighting as well.
“Since we will stay here for one hour and stand on guard, each of you, take some rest in turns. Once one hour has passed, we will enter Horant and give our report.” (Ma)
No sooner than he had said that, Ma Carme lied down on the ground.
“Ah, I’m worn-out. I dun’ wanna do somethin’ as scary as war in a place where Lord-sama ain’t present.” (Ma)
The messenger also said down next to Ma Carme who laughed frivolously.
“Is Earl Tohno-sama that powerful?”
“It ain’t at the level of bein’ powerful or such. That man is the same as a military force. If ya see that man on the enemy’s side, I believe it will be the correct choice to leave alone anything and everything to run away.” (Ma)
“It would be completely proper to apply for a transfer request at the national army”, Ma Carme mentions.
“Ya probably also heard about the battle against Vichy, didn’t you? There are likely some parts that were somewhat exaggerated in the circulated rumours, but basically they are true.” (Ma)
“But”, once Ma Carme rose his body and sat cross-legged, he hit the kusarigama at his waist and burst into laughter.
“At the time I heard a bard singing a tale of a beautiful black-haired knight-sama in a bar of the capital, which I visited en route towards Horant, I couldn’t resist laughing.” (Ma)
Ma Carme, who placed his hand on the messenger’s shoulder with a *pon*, shook his head in disbelief.
“The real killing of other people ain’t somethin’ that pretty.” (Ma)
Leaving the messenger, who couldn’t return any answer, alone, Ma Carme calls out to his soldiers in the surroundings and confirms that there are no injured.
Once an hour passes while doing that, Ma Carme and the others quickly cross Horant’s national border.
“Good grief, if I’m allowed to take a few days off, I will temporarily return to Fokalore. I wanna see Director Alyssa’s face soon.” (Ma)
Accompanied by the messenger, who followed them while making sure to be the last one, Ma Carme and his soldiers passed through the border.
The ones who waited there are completely armed infantrymen of Horant and Horant’s prided magic soldiers.
Seeing several spear throwers, which were brought in by Ma Carme’s group for training purposes, obviously aiming at them, Ma Carme squinted.
“… Let me ask for the time being, but what’s the purpose of these?” (Ma)
Once seen, the soldiers, who manned the spear throwers, show a cowering appearance without matching Ma Carme’s line of sight as they are all soldiers who were trained by Ma Carme’s unit.
In contrast to that the magic soldiers prepared their daggers in a state of frenzy in order to release magic at any time.
“Oh my, thanks for your troubles.”
A single, corpulent middle-aged man steps forth from in-between the infantrymen and the magic soldiers while holding his sides with laughter.
“It looks like the strength of those spear throwers is magnificent. By no means, to have that kind of a large army cave in with just 10 soldiers… We appreciate having received such weapon.”
“It seems you are misunderstanding something, but as those are tools we brought along for the sake of our teaching unit, we have no intention to go home while leaving them here. If you want them, it will be just fine if you make them yourself, won’t it?” (Ma)
“The ones misunderstanding are you bastards.”
The middle-aged man, who cleared his throat unnaturally, puts his arms behind his back with an intention to throw out his chest, however Ma Carme’s group’s sight it can’t be seen as anything but him pushing out his belly no matter how they looked at it.
“Orsongrande’s soldiers came to attack our Horant. As it’s only natural to use what’s usable, it’s just a matter of course to use these here for self-defence, isn’t it? Let’s call this an emulation of a battlefield, shall we?”
Even while feeling irritated due to the gaze as if looking down on them with a “Fufu”, Ma Carme calmly surveys the vicinity.
“I’m called Kuzemu and am serving as prime minister of this country, Horant. It’s unnecessary for you to remember it though.” (Kuzemu)
Affirming that they are literally in a situation of being partially surrounded, he turns a fleeting glance towards his back, but there are no soldiers of Orsongrande who are looking this way. However, there are no soldiers from Horant that will become a nuisance either. It seems they haven’t surrounded them completely out of fear of accidentally shooting each other with magic or the spear throwers.
“Well, I guess it’s a misunderstanding. We held back the lot, who came attacking Horant, at the border. You probably know that as well. There’s no need to take a stance of intercepting anymore either.” (Ma)
The infantry soldiers, who were manning the spear throwers, turned their looks at Kuzemu due to Ma Carme’s words.
But, Kuzemu laughed scornfully.
“If it’s about an invasion, it has happened already. Ignoring the sovereignty of our country, soldiers of Orsongrande have thrown their weights around in Horant’s capital while looking as if they owned the place and in addition treated our soldiers completely like their subordinates. And.” (Kuzemu)
Kuzemu pointed below Ma Carme’s feet.
“Aren’t even now soldiers of Orsongrande rudely setting their feet on the soil of our country?” (Kuzemu)
Due to Kuzemu floating a faint smile, one largely built middle-aged man called out while pushing his way through the soldiers.
He has likely a high status, but that can also be perceived from his luxurious attire, which had golden threads inlays. The scary face, which harboured an imposing moustache, exposes his anger as he yells.
“What’s this about, Kuzemu-dono!? Moving the soldiers without the permission of the king and moreover threatening the soldiers of Fokalore, who are cooperating with us…”
“The king is absent, therefore I have moved them like this on behalf of our country as prime minister.” (Kuzemu)
“The authority to move the soldiers lies with me, the Minister of Military and Naval Affairs!”
“The Minister of Military and Naval Affairs is appointed for the “time when a king’s designated.” Differing from me who is the prime minister, your title holds no meaning now that the previous king, Suprangel, has passed away.” (Kuzemu)
“Then, until there’s an order from Nelgal-sama, who is nominated as his successor…”
Due to the former Minister of Military and Naval Affairs being unable to continue his words as he is shocked, Kuzemu finished them for him.
“That’s right. Until there’s an order from Nelgal-sama who is on his way back, I will work as his representative.” (Kuzemu)
“S-Such a thing…”
“That’s how the law is.” (Kuzemu)
During the time Kuzemu quarrelled with the minister, Ma Carme addressed the messenger in a whisper.
“Once I give you the signal, jump on your horse, pass the border and inform Earl Biron about the state of affairs. Since you likely won’t have the spare time to care-freely chat with the border guards, dash along the highway while ignoring them.” (Ma)
“Eh, t-that is…”
“Don’t say anything unnecessary. Only think about accomplishing your job as messenger.” (Ma)
Once he told him sternly without allowing any opposition from the messenger, Ma Carme made an eye signal to the other unit members.
The soldiers nod while smiling.
“Convey our great efforts properly.”
“You have to praise our bravery in front of Director Alyssa.”
There’s no tragic feeling in the words spoken by several.
“Did you hear? You are also an important messenger who will report our virtuous appearance. Once you got Earl Biron’s permission, go to Fokalore. And once you told 「Your subordinates are the best」 to Director Alyssa, it will be fine.” (Ma)
The messenger, who was kicked in the butt with a “go”, jumps on his horse while crying.
“Don’t let him get away!” (Kuzemu)
“Stop him! It will become a big problem!”
Noticing the movements, Kuzemu raised his voice and the minister spoke up even louder.
Only one spear is shot from among the bewildered soldiers and a few spells come flying.
The single spear was aimed at the back of the messenger, but it dropped down after being hit by the sickle swung by Ma Carme.
Fokalore’s soldiers kicked over the the platform wagon at once turning it into a wall to protect them against the spells.
Even so, two soldiers, who couldn’t get behind the protection in time, were cut by wind magic and collapsed while spouting blood.
Moreover, one person, who got away from the wagon which was burned by a fireball, faints being hit by a pellet against his head.
“Come on, attack us without holding back! It ain’t to the degree of Lord-sama, even I will show you how stylishly I can fight! It would be the best if it were in front of Director Alyssa but as this place is a battlefield, it can’t be helped!” (Ma)
Ma Carme, who spoke sharply while rotating the weight after setting up the kusarigama, laughed as if completely not noticing them being outnumbered.
“I wonder whether I shall let this decorate the reception at the first floor until the time to use it comes.” (Hifumi)
“No, no, Hifumi-san. That is, a bit…” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who looked at the freshly severed head of Balzephon which continues to spill soundless grudges while flapping its mouth open and shut, searched for words to prevent Hifumi’s suggestion after murmuring an “Ueeh.”
“It continues to move even without any motive power. I think it’s just right for watching it while wasting time waiting on one’s turn, isn’t it?” (Hifumi)
“I don’t think so! Don’t you think that everyone will end up not approaching this place out of fear?” (Alyssa)
The two people, who are talking in front of the freshly severed head at the entrance of the lord’s mansion, were unapproachable in various meanings. One of those is the existence of that suspicious, monster-like freshly severed head, second is the person, who is the top-ranking man in this region hailed as feudal lord, and lastly the posture of Alyssa clinging to an arm of Hifumi.
“Only Origa-san would accept that.” (Alyssa)
“I see. Then it can’t be helped.” (Hifumi)
Since he was apparently unable to store the head away as it was still treated as “living thing” albeit being able to toss the corpse from below the head into the magic storage, Hifumi had grabbed the head and was carrying it around in the open as is. But Alyssa, who closed the argument, called for a staff member and quickly wrapped the head in a cloth.
The staff member in charge of the reception, who accidentally saw their exchange, fiercely vowed to thank Alyssa afterwards.
“Anyway, with this the monster subjugation has finished, too. It looks like there were no significant movements even after coming back. I have to wait around again, huh?” (Hifumi)
“Isn’t that fine? Hifumi-san, you are working too much, thus it’s just right for you to rest a bit at least. Lately there are new sweets stores in the city…” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who noticed something just when she was about to continue her words, separates from Hifumi’s arm, which she had seized as if embracing it, and took a distance of around one meter.
At the same time, when Hifumi turns his face in the direction of the city due to a presence he knows, a carriage plunges towards the lord’s mansion raising a thunderous roar.
“Ah, Origa, eh?” (Hifumi)
“Oh, you came back? You took more time than expected.” (Hifumi)
After the carriage stopped in front of the lord’s mansion while raising a cloud of dust, Origa directly leaped into Hifumi’s chest without any hesitation.
Hifumi, who caught her and turned around while killing the momentum, turned his gaze towards Midas, who chased after her while making his horse gallop until it was drenched in sweat, without minding the enthusiastic embrace of Origa.
“Oh, it’s been a while.” (Hifumi)
“I-It has been a while, Earl Tohno.” (Midas)
Obviously doing that always in front of a higher-ranking noble, Midas dismounted his horse and gave his greeting with a proper bow. It can’t be helped that his shoulders are heaving up and down.
“What, did you act as Origa’s escort?” (Hifumi)
“Such things are necessary… no, there’s that as well, but I have been appointed to the task of receiving Nelgal-sama as well.” (Midas)
“Ah, yea.” (Hifumi)
As Hifumi gave a vague answer, he splendidly ignored Origa who was talking about her loneliness and how dull her life without Hifumi in the capital was one after the other while clinging to Hifumi’s body.
“And, considering that it could be used by you, Hifumi-sama, I bought beautiful porcelain plates and bowls, but as they were broken by idiots along the way, there is no more than only one piece remaining…” (Origa)
Burying her face in Hifumi’s dougi while sobbing uncontrollably, Origa confirmed his smell in a casual manner and glared at Alyssa in a way that it couldn’t be seen by Hifumi.
“Alyssa, we will have a chat later. It looks like it’s necessary for us to slowly talk with each other in my room.” (Origa)
During the time the chat between the women unfolded, Midas started to talk with Hifumi about something he wanted to ask.
“Are you aware that a part of our country’s nobles plot to invade Horant?” (Midas)
“Hmm. That’s the first time I heard about it.” (Hifumi)
“That’s right, isn’t it? As a matter of fact, in order to oppose you, Earl Tohno, they are trying to obtain war achievements by attacking Horant whose king died…” (Midas)
“What’s that about?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who sneered, stares at Midas.
“So you are saying that you want me to take responsibility since there are idiots who are mimicking me.” (Hifumi)
“T-Th-That’s out of the question! Her Majesty, the Queen, won’t approve of any begging towards you, Earl Tohno, for assistance regarding this case. Her Majesty has declared that she will resolve everything on her own.” (Midas)
“That’s only natural. I can’t be bothered about each and every fellow who copies me in appearance only, can I? Rather than that, what kind of scale will that battle have?” (Hifumi)
“It’s very likely that it will be ended by the knight order and the nobles of the queen’s faction, including Earl Biron, before long. The problem is the case if damages spread towards Horant, but…” (Midas)
Alyssa, who listened to the talk at his side, grabbed Hifumi’s arm in panic.
“Ma Carme’s unit should be in Horant!” (Alyssa)
Due to Alyssa’s forehead looking up at Hifumi while asking “What shall I do?”, Hifumi gave her a forehead flick with his left hand which was covered by a glove.
“Ah, ouch?” (Alyssa)
“Is there any need to ask me? If you consider them your enemies, then kill them out of your own will.” (Hifumi)
“That’s how it is, Alyssa.” (Origa)
Far from the gaze similar to threatening her until just now, Origa turned towards Alyssa with an affectionate smile completely similar to the Virgin Mary while placing her hands on the chest of Hifumi.
“You decide your enemy. And once you decided your enemy, it’s about killing them without hesitation. That’s our way of doing things, right?” (Origa)
After looking alternatively at Hifumi and Origa, Alyssa quickly bowed and ran off.
Midas, who doesn’t wish for the battlefield to spread too much, watched that with unpleasant memories, but he had another important matter to settle in front of him.
“Our task is to safely escort Nelgal-sama until Horant while guarding him. I’d like to meet with Nelgal-sama.” (Midas)
“Mmh? Didn’t you meet him along the road?” (Hifumi)
Hearing about Nelgal having already departed Fokalore from Hifumi’s mouth, Midas felt an impatience to a degree he had never experienced.
“But, along the way we checked all the inns above a certain rank…” (Midas)
“That’s very likely the reason.” (Caim)
The one who replied towards Midas’ statement was Caim who left the lord’s mansion after hearing the sound of the carriage.
“Welcome back, Lord-sama, Madam.” (Caim)
“Caim-san, since there are souvenirs for everyone in the carriage, could you distribute them according to the notes attached on them?” (Origa)
“Thank you very much for your concerns.” (Caim)
“Please wait, “that’s the reason”, what the heck do you mean with that?” (Midas)
Correcting his posture, Caim looked at Midas with an expressionless white face.
“As Nelgal-sama prefers a simple lifestyle, he used part of his budget for buying materials for the sake of his studies rather than living in luxury. Even during his stay at this place he avoided the lord’s mansion, which he couldn’t consider as anything but a reward, and chose one of the city’s lodgings.” (Caim)
“It’s very likely that he chooses to stay in cheap inns together with all of his guards along the way as well. If you, Midas-sama, checked only the inns which would be selected by nobility and wealthy merchants, it wouldn’t be a miracle even if you ended up missing each other.” (Caim)
I made a mistake, Midas felt a shock as if he was hit against his head.
Loosing their calmness, the knights in the surroundings exchange looks with each other as well.
“Luckily it’s no more than a few days since Nelgal-sama departed. As Nelgal-sama isn’t very proficient at riding a horse and since he hasn’t taken a carriage along either, you can catch up with him even still quite a bit before the capital, if you chase after him on horse.” (Caim)
Midas, who was in chaos, suddenly raised his head due to Caim’s words and after thanking Caim and bowing towards Hifumi, he left together with his subordinate knights once they mounted their horses in a hurry.
“What a restless fellow.” (Hifumi)
Once he ascertains Midas galloping away, Hifumi pondered with a “Hmm.”
“Is there something bothering you, dear?” (Origa)
“It’s Horant. I thought that only troublesome things will happen after the old man died, but this is…” (Hifumi)
Observing the face of Hifumi who grins broadly, Origa displays an entranced expression.
“The smell of people killing each other is drifting about.” (Hifumi)
In addition, it the smell of a riot where large quantities of blood will flow, rather than waiting for the demons to make their move, Hifumi considered throwing the state over there into confusion while looking happy.
“I have just the right, great present to take to Imeraria. Let’s try showing my face in the capital after quite a while, huh?” (Hifumi)
Due to those words Caim bowed and Origa was firmly determined to act together with him this time for sure.