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I can’t stand Take That, so here we go…
“Other than Earl Aspilketa, most of the nobles were arrested. A part of them ended up dying, but…”
“That’s fine. It was during the melee, wasn’t it?”
The city of Münster governed by Earl Biron. The day had already descended into dusk when a messenger of his own army arrived at the place of Biron who had motionlessly closed his eyes, completely as if being asleep, while sitting deeply in the soft chair of his own office.
Biron, who listened to the outcome which should be mostly satisfying, was relieved that the losses of his own army were lower than he expected. Given that the opponents were soldiers from another fief in the kingdom, it might have an effect on the circulation of goods within the country because of the people’s anxiety if the losses were great.
If this was an opponent from another country, there would still be the method of letting off steam though, Biron was delighted because one of his worries had been cleared.
As a messenger is, to the bitter end, a being who relays the state of affairs, they aren’t allowed a personal opinion. Or rather, they don’t have the ability to understand the whole situation.
However, the messenger, who came in front of him, apparently realized something. Such kind of soldiers, who “think by themselves” in various parts, increased after the instruction unit of Fokalore arrived.
“It’s alright. Let me hear your opinion.” (Biron)
Biron, who faced him with a smile, made him sit down at the reception telling him that it will be fine to talk once he has calmed down after drinking some tea and requested a slightly cool tea from a maid.
The messenger, who was nervous and felt sorry at the beginning, took a sip of the tea with its fine aroma and his shoulders lost their tension, albeit only a little.
He wasn’t able to match the look of Biron who sat in front of him though.
“After I ascertained that Lord Aspilketa’s army, which left first just as planned, would come out at an advantageous spot while making sure of it from behind I told that to my companions and confirmed them leaving the battlefield.”
The nobles’ allied forces, which were led by Aspilketa who left towards the highway, advanced on the highway in groups. On top of their huge numbers, they were even unversed at marching and thus made only slow progress. Even when the messenger monitored them from a fairly close place, no one discovered him.
“Close to the border to Horant the nobles’ allied forces’ vanguard came into contact with the enemy. … No, they tried coming into contact with them.”
“What do you mean by that?” (Biron)
“I don’t know whether that expression is correct, but it wasn’t a situation where you could say that the nobles’ allied forces were allowed to approach.”
At the point in time when their numbers were decreased greatly by a single unit who set up camp in the direction of Horant deceiving the allied forces with a trap that made it look as if they had been cornered, the messenger returned to his own unit and relayed the state of affairs. Biron’s feudal army immediately attacked the rear of the nobles’ allied forces.
“I see. The ones who set up their camp near Horant’s side was likely the instruction unit sent by Earl Tohno, I guess. As one would expect, such is impossible for others.” (Biron)
“That’s my opinion, too. Even I, who was taught those techniques, don’t have any confidence whether I would be able to act it out that skilfully up to that point.”
“Didn’t we plan to demand their surrender after our army encircled them partially and aimed at Aspilketa’s group from the rear?” (Biron)
Biron easily laughed off the messenger having difficulty to speak.
“Don’t worry about it, please tell me the facts. What’s necessary is correct information.” (Biron)
“I believe that I’m not as haughty to think that everything moves as I expect it”, Biron tasted his own tea.
“At the time our army attacked the rear of the enemy… the nobles’ allied forces weren’t in a state to be called an army anymore.”
“Uh huh?” (Biron)
“Most likely the fact of the battle situation at the front not progressing smoothly spread to the soldiers just by the vanguard unit scrambling to run away. The soldiers got scattered and escaped. Without confirming the circumstances the nobles in addition to Earl Aspilketa flooded the place where we set up for encirclement… in the direction of Münster for the sake of fleeing one way or the other.”
This time the Biron feudal army lined up 30 spear throwers, which they began to produce in their own territory after being introduced to them in the Tohno Earldom for the sake of sieges. Although those are devices at the level of being prototypes that still have to be assembled on-site, all of the soldiers know their menacing power.
And, although they didn’t know who was the first, spears were fired by the Biron feudal army one after the other.
“After that it was a picture of Hell if you want to give it a name. Our army successively fired spears out of fear due to the nobles’ troops approaching while running away in a half-crazed manner… Your esteemed order was to arrest them, but actually more than 100 people have died during that period.”
“T-The spear throwers where that strong…?” (Biron)
“There’s that, however more than half of the casualties among the nobles’ allied forces were trampled down by their allies after falling down or were killed for standing in the way of the nobles.”
Biron held his temper while wearing a bitter expression due to the tragedy that was far beyond his imaginations.
“So… how did the gathering work out after that?” (Biron)
“… Being instructed to retreat with a loud voice from the location of the instruction unit from Fokalore, they were stopped in their movements by falling down due to the countless ropes stretching out between us and the nobles’ allied forces. After that we finally began to arrest them with out own hands.”
Once the messenger said “That’s all”, Biron leaned back his body into the sofa.
“In short that means that we were saved by Earl Tohno’s troops.” (Biron)
“My debts only keep increasing”, Biron can’t help but laugh.
When Biron fixed his seating posture, his look took a sharp glint, different from before.
“Notify the whole army. Treat the nobles and their corpses among those arrested politely and prepare to escort them to the capital. As for the other soldiers, release those who were drafted for this battle and imprison the rest after dividing them properly.” (Biron)
“As you command.”
“A war with Horant was avoided. Let’s be first happy about that, shall we not?” (Biron)
Once Biron smiled, the messenger showed an awkward smile as well.
At the time the messenger stood up while saying “I have to pass on the order”, a maid called out to Biron.
“Going by the looks of the feudal army, it seems that a messenger from Horant has returned.”
“Oh? I wonder what happened?” (Biron)
Once Biron gave permission for him to enter the room, a soldier, who served as platoon leader in this time’s battle, entered while bringing a young messenger along.
“… What’s your business?” (Biron)
Including the messenger who came earlier, the three people stand in a row in an equal manner. They straightened their backs while facing Biron and put their heels together.
“The person, who has left towards Horant as messenger, has returned. As he brought along new information, I asked him to convey it.”
The man, who is called platoon leader, stiffens his sunburned face with its conspicuous wrinkles due to nervousness while saying that in a low voice. Usually that voice is for reprimanding the soldiers.
“By all rights it’s a matter that should be told to my superior, but taking into the account the gravity of its content, we visited you, Sir, after receiving the instruction to tell you directly rather than through the battalion commander.”
“Got it. Let’s hear it.” (Biron)
Once Biron gives his authorization, the platoon leader made an eye signal to the young messenger he brought along.
The young messenger looks directly at Biron with his face, which has traces of tears remaining, and opens his mouth,
“Fokalore’s instruction unit, which entered Horant, Ma Carme-dono and the other 10 members, suffered an attack by Horant’s army.”
“What was that!?” (Biron)
Raising a loud voice which is unusual for him, Biron urges him on to continue after clearing his throat.
“So, what about the instruction unit?” (Biron)
“… For the sake of letting me, who was at the scene, escape, they chose to remain there and fight. Most likely, they are already…”
The messenger burst into tears once again.
Without the leeway to call out to him, Biron grasped his fists tightly and groaned.
“How could they do such a thing…” (Biron)
The pole, Hifumi took out while being mounted on a horse, was simply put an iron pole.
Hifumi, who ended up breaking the mechanism for releasing the chain of the chigiriki, had Pruflas make a simple staff with a length 127 centimetres which is used in joujutsu. (T/N: Joujutsu is the art of martial arts where you use a cane staff)
“What will you do with a simple pole?” (Pruflas)
Due to Pruflas being doubtful of that, Hifumi showed various blows against a log, which was in the training area, as opponent. Moreover he showed and performed techniques versus many and throwing techniques against the soldiers who happened to be present there.
No one was able to cope with the whirling staff which moved as if it was alive. In front of Pruflas, who felt admiration towards the soldiers who were downed after a few minutes, the scenery of Hifumi laughing loudly spread in the training area.
Of course the bandits shouldn’t be able to deal with the iron pole right away either.
“Oi, give me…”
Among the bandits, who are standing in order to blockade the highway, there was a man who tried to spit out the standard line for demanding money, but before he finished speaking, he died after having his head crushed by the staff.
The bandits didn’t expect to be attacked all of a sudden, however as they were apparently a bunch used to seeing blood, they immediately glared at Hifumi while holding badly maintained swords in their hands.
“Oh, oh, you are urging to have a go. The numbers are a bit lacking, but it will be just right as warm-up.” (Hifumi)
Once he jumped off the horse, Hifumi gave it a light spank and let it go ahead.
“It’s possible to look for gaps after you have surrounded me properly. Cooperate with your mates while using your head well.” (Hifumi)
“What the fuck are you saying!?”
When Hifumi began to give a lecture while raising his finger, one of them came slashing at him by swinging his sword from his side.
“That’s no good, is what I’m telling you.” (Hifumi)
Once he launches his opponent’s sword upwards with the staff which hit the sword from below, he thrusts the staff, which he tightly held with both hands, into the defenceless chest of his opponent.
At the moment the bandit spit out all air from his lungs through his mouth, he was tripped by having his feet entangled by Hifumi’s staff and the man, who received a final stab into his throat, died.
“Are there any fellows who swing their weapons sideways at the time when there are many allies around?” (Hifumi)
Sinking a thrust into an eye of a bandit who approaches once more, he tosses him down with his shoulder.
He breaks the lower leg and then steps on the head.
Stepping over the man who fainted after being hit at the temple of the head, he avoided a man who struck out his prepared knife, circled behind him, caught his neck with the pole, restrained the head and twisted it.
“See? There are many ways to kill, right?” (Hifumi)
“What magnificent technique!” (Origa)
“It’s not only about hitting but also about being able to throw.” (Hifumi)
At the moment they began their conversation, the bandits noticed Origa and Alyssa trailing behind him.
“A-Against a brat who is accompanied by women…”
“I believe the strength of someone doesn’t change due to their company though?” (Hifumi)
The bandits, whose faces blushed when Hifumi answered calmly, came attacking even more violently.
A man, who was pinned down by having his shoulder joint immobilized due to having the staff thrust at the arm which held the sword, suffered a sword attack by his ally and sprayed blood.
“Hey, Alyssa.” (Origa)
“What is it?” (Alyssa)
The two, who are watching the tragedy unfolding from a distance, followed the movements of Hifumi with their eyes.
“What do you like about Hifumi-sama, Alyssa?” (Origa)
“W-Wh-What are you so suddenly…?” (Alyssa)
“It’s fine. The part about Hifumi-sama you like, there is one, right?” (Origa)
“Uuh… After all, it’s his strength, I think…?” (Alyssa)
At that instant Hifumi’s staff kills another bandit by smashing their head.
Origa, who cast a fleeting glance at Alyssa, who has become red up to her ears, after ascertaining that the spinal fluid has scattered, harbours a teasing mind.
“Oh my. If it’s a strong person, there are others as well, aren’t there?” (Origa)
“Yea. But, there wasn’t anyone I was able to have a peace of mind getting this close to until now, I think…?” (Alyssa)
“Sense of security, eh? I see.” (Origa)
“I understand”, Origa nods.
In a slightly distant place Hifumi laughs while saying 「It’s the remaining half. It became easier to move, right?」. And once again another person received the staff with their nether region, spouted foam while becoming incontinent and had their throat pierced.
“For me it’s the opposite, I guess?” (Origa)
Origa put her hand on her cheek and said “though I can’t explain it skilfully.”
“If I look at Hifumi-sama’s face and figure, my heart begins to beat fast somehow. In addition, after spending time together with him, I felt that a world, which I didn’t know until then, continued to expand in front of me. To be honest, I wanted to go to the wastelands with him, too.” (Origa)
“Hey”, while not taking her gaze off Hifumi, Origa placed her hand on Alyssa’s shoulder.
“You also heard about Hifumi-sama’s goal, right?” (Origa)
“What will you do at that time?” (Origa)
Alyssa still hasn’t decided her position.
Receiving a high status, that is unthinkable with my birthplace, in Fokalore, I’m surrounded by many friends and definitely regard myself as happy, she thinks.
However, how is my position towards Hifumi as simple human?
I’m his subordinate. Even if I were to say that I’m his friend, it feels like I would be allowed to do so.
He isn’t my lover. He is my lifesaver. If it’s something I’m able to do, there’s absolutely nothing I would be unwilling to do for the sake of Hifumi.
“It looks like you are still hesitating.” (Origa)
“Yea. But.” (Alyssa)
Alyssa gently placed her own hand on the hand of Origa which was put on her shoulder.
“I will properly watch Hifumi-san on this trip and then decide. At least what I want to become for Hifumi. I will definitely make up my mind on that.” (Alyssa)
“I see.” (Origa)
Origa smiled after seeing Alyssa’s expression.
“I’m supporting you, okay? It’s fine to ponder about it honestly without worrying about me.” (Origa)
“But”, Origa gives a warning.
“There are many rivals. Especially Imeraria-sama.” (Origa)
“Queen-sama is!?” (Alyssa)
At the time Alyssa raised her voice, the last bandit had just his face facing backwards and passed away.