Chapter 144 – Psychosocial

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From time to time a person’s actions are incapable of being in line with the aspirations and imaginations of another person. What should or should not happen in the end goes no further than being disconnected from someone’s wishes.
It’s the same with many things. Imeraria’s order (or wish) also ended up being futile and in vain.

“It became somewhat noisy. Did something happen, Sabnak-san?” (Imeraria)

“Uuh, Origa-san…” (Sabnak)

Sabnak served as host of Viine and the others instead of Vaiya who was busy with the preparations for the planned arrival of the reinforcement’s main forces from behind.
On the way leading them to the tents for visitors, which were prepared from the spares, they ended up suddenly coming across Origa who carried baggage she bought in Münster.
Viine’s group, who doesn’t know about Origa, turns their looks towards Sabnak in search of an explanation as no one understands the beautiful girl who appeared in front of their eyes. However, Sabnak isn’t in a situation where he can respond to that.

“U-Umm…”

“Did you decide on some strategy? And, the people over there are… well, beastmen and an elf? It’s the first time I’m seeing either, but what’s wrong?” (Origa)

Sabnak had not come up with even a bit of explanation in the case that Origa got in touch with the beastmen. Since he had wanted to ponder on it slowly later on, he had yet to determine if he will try to bounce opinions off of Imeraria to obtain a fine-tuned integrated whole
Being abandoned by Sabnak who became pale while dripping sweat, Viine’s group bowed.

“Nice to meet you. I’m the rabbit beastman Viine. I came from the slums of Swordland on the other side of the wastelands.”

“Oh, how very polite. I’m the wife of Fokalore’s feudal lord Earl Tohno, Origa.”

“Ah, you are master’s madam! Wanting to go to master’s place, I came to this place!” (Viine)

“Eh?” (Origa)

“Eh?” (Viine)

Watching Origa and Viine staring at each other, Sabnak looked up to the distant sky while thinking if it was the period when I was a low-ranking knight, I would have likely run away long ago already.
The person himself didn’t realize that his own right foot had started escaping by one step.

◆◇◆

“I see, you were bought by my husband in the wastelands?” (Origa)

“Yes, I was immediately released after that, in addition to that I received education and an environment where I could live safely… wanting to return this favour somehow, I thought that I should meet with master.” (Viine)

Inside a guest tent a conversation began in a harmonious atmosphere by the guests receiving black tea personally served by Origa, and Caim’s special baked sweets.
The males of the beastmen admire Hifumi’s wife, Origa, as a beauty. Puuse and Viine talk about the events up till now. Sabnak pondered whether he should go inform Imeraria, but decided to confirm the outcome of this conversation first. During the flow of these talks I might have to protect the beastmen by risking my own well-being.
(This is another battlefield, I guess? Though it’s also a strange matter to interfere with the love affairs of others. Ah, if Shibyura was here, I could have consulted with her. I want to go home soon.) (Sabnak)
He takes a sip of black tea while feeling like crying. Just as said by Origa, who discovered the fine tea leaves in Münster, it has a refreshing sweetness.

“S-So, I accompanied Viine-san to make it possible for her to meet with Hifumi-san. There’s something I want to talk about as well.”

“I believe that I want to serve at master’s side, if possible. I also reached the point of being able to use magic after keeping at it. I will take care of him and even use this body as a shield in an emergency.” (Viine)

“Really?” (Origa)

Origa, who emptied the cup slowly in order to make sure of the black tea’s flavour, watched Viine pleading desperately and smiled sweetly.

“If you are saying that you will be able to serve as maid of my husband, of Hifumi-sama, I will welcome that. However, there’s one thing you should know. And that’s a condition I want you to honour.” (Origa)

“W-What might that be?” (Viine)

“What you should know is what Hifumi-sama is aiming for. … You, do you have the resolve to kill someone else for Hifumi-sama?” (Origa)

Whispering that while still smiling, it’s said in a light tune completely as if asking someone about their hobby while bearing a weight similar to a final trial.

“Kil-…” (Puuse)

That mood. The mood of not hesitating even a little about stealing life, lightly and easily as if fluttering in the wind.
Puuse, who sensed in Origa once more what she had felt in Hifumi, became speechless.
However, Viine’s resolve is firm.

“There’s no problem. I decided to practise for that reason.” (Viine)

“Is that so?” (Origa)

Feeling that the pressure from Origa has calmed down somewhat, even the male group, who was tense, dropped their shoulders.

“Umm, What’s this one other condition?” (Viine)

“That’s simple. Viine-san, you just said that you will take care of Hifumi-sama by even sacrificing your body, didn’t you?” (Origa)

“Yes, of course.” (Viine)

“That’s my duty. Please do so once my life has been extinguished for the sake of Hifumi-sama, if you are going to do it.” (Origa)

With Origa showing any signs of listening to a reply, she faced Sabnak once she finished declaring that.

“Sabnak-san.” (Origa)

“Y-Yes!” (Sabnak)

“So, can I have you tell me the reason why this encampment has become this noisy?” (Origa)

“Uuh… I got it…” (Sabnak)

After that, the beastmen, who finished meeting with Alyssa as well, were taken charge of by a person from Fokalore and not from Imeraria’s side.

☺☻☺

“The matter, which is most important above all, is knowing faster than your enemy does”, Hifumi explains.
The one who listens attentively is a magic researcher of Horant, a young man called Gaap. Having been summoned to the room of Horant’s Prime Minister Kuzemu, he listens to the conversation in the prime ministers office alongside assistants he brought along.

“How and where will the opponent enter? Did they get close? What equipment are they using? You probably understand that it’s advantageous even if you only know those things in advance.” (Hifumi)

“Yes. However, there are sentries and patrols for that reason. They are guarding while checking the vicinity with a magic light tool.” (Gaap)

“Then that means it will be over once they are done in. Just like the current situation.” (Hifumi)

“That is… something called individual ability. There won’t be any problem if the sentries are stronger or if the assailant is a lot weaker.” (Gaap)

“You idiot.” (Hifumi)

Due to the voice of Hifumi, who interrupted Gaap’s words, even Kuzemu, who is working at a separate desk, trembled.

“You have to consider it from much higher level than individual strength. Basically think of it as “something even an idiot can do” in case of the masses.” (Hifumi)

“For example”, he pulls out a suitable parchment from Kuzemu’s desk and flips it over.
Drawing two circles, he flicked it with a finger.

“There were magic tools where one is broken if its counterpart is destroyed, right? Making it more fragile and preparing two of them, You install one of them at the front of the body of the guy on duty. By doing that, even if the wearer got defeated by something before sending a signal, those inside the building would be informed of the abnormality by the counterpart breaking.” (Hifumi)

Drawing a diagonal line through one of the circles, he added an X-mark to the other one.

“I-Indeed.” (Gaap)

“It’s the same with physical defence. If it’s the walls of this castle, I can climb them barehanded.” (Hifumi)

“Normally that’s impossible.” (Gaap)

“But, aren’t you able to accomplish that easily if magic is used?” (Hifumi)

“Nevertheless, if it’s disrupted, a loud sound will…” (Gaap)

“It’s something else. Is there anyone amongst you who can use earth magic?” (Hifumi)

One of the assistants raises their hand due to Hifumi’s question.
Facing that man, Hifumi made a gap of around 40 cm with his hands and showed him.

“Then, how long will it take for a soldier to create a hand-sized stone of this size?” (Hifumi)

“I-If it’s one per soldier, as much as 30 seconds.”

“In that case, at least the soldiers of this place will be able to have them on hand if they have several minutes of time, right?” (Hifumi)

Due to the words he finished saying, the assistants whisper amongst themselves.

“However, to hold one of that level, for me that’s very…”

“Who told you guys to go up there yourselves? It will be fine if that’s done by the soldiers, won’t it?” (Hifumi)

“Ah”, due to Gaap having such expression, Hifumi was seriously troubled.

“Do you really don’t think about such things as application or amplification of utility?” (Hifumi)

From then on Hifumi extends his explanation to things like magic application for long distance communication with wind magic and excavation with water currents, on top of that physical communication methods inside a building which used speaking tubes and the general concept of sensors.
Although it was sudden, Gaap and his assistants asked many questions while trying to comprehend the very interesting theories and techniques. They stared with high concentration at the scribbles drawn with by Hifumi.

“Umm… I know it’s kind of late for that, but why is it acceptable for you to teach us these things?” (Gaap)

At the moment the lecture, which had continued until late at night, reached a point where they could take a pause, Gaap asked that timidly.

“Ah, so, in a few days, Orsongrande’s army will probably come here. If aren’t prepared, it will be one-sided, I guess. Then it won’t very interesting.” (Hifumi)

“Huh?” (Gaap)

Just like a rust-eaten machine, Gaap turned around and Kuzemu nodded as if having given up.

◆◇◆

And then, a few hours later, a messenger letting them know about the situation at the border arrives. Adolameruk rushes into all-night defence preparations.
While many people were driven into preparing under Gaap’s instructions, Hifumi vanished before they realized.

☺☻☺

“Nelgal-sama, I will make use of you as a shield in the operation this time.” (Imeraria)

Imeraria, Nelgal, Sabnak, Biron, Vaiya, Alyssa, Origa and the beastmen came together at the war council’s location. Origa and of course the beastmen as well weren’t originally scheduled to participate, but since Origa declared 「I will come along, too」 and seeing that she is Alyssa’s superior, the reason for not having the rest join vanished. It was beyond their power to tell anyone to take their leave as Origa brought them along.
Due to them becoming irregular council members, it turned into a wait-and-see situation while everyone greeted and mingled with each other for a while, however due to the declaration of Imeraria who suddenly got down to business everyone was surprised.

“… I’d like to be told about Your Majesty’s intention in detail.” (Nelgal)

Stopping a guard, who stood in the back trying to file a protest, Nelgal asks Imeraria.

“On the occasion of the current invasion of Horant, we will advance the troops towards the capital city Adolameruk in one go. We will have them take only a minimum amount of breaks and on top of that take the largest war potential we can currently move.” (Imeraria)

“Won’t it turn into serious damage for your and my country in that case? If I enter Horant, it will possible to use me as a restraint against the soldiers. Won’t it be possible to solve the situation with only that much?” (Nelgal)

Sabnak and the others expressed their thoughts of approval by nodding towards Nelgal’s opinion.
However, Origa stays silent and Alyssa follows her in that as well.

“And what will we do if you went missing on the way towards the capital, Nelgal-sama?” (Imeraria)

“Hmm…” (Nelgal)

“I’m not well-informed about the person who is steering the current Horant, but is your return beneficial for that person, Nelgal-sama? Even if you returned to the royal castle for argument’s sake, he will be able to seize the power just like they have now by just acting as if you haven’t returned yet and spreading “he has gone missing” before many people become aware of your arrival.” (Imeraria)

Listening to Imeraria’s argument’s Nelgal muttered “I give up.”

“It’s just as said by Her Majesty. While it’s disgraceful, the current man in power within the military of my country… is very likely Prime Minister Kuzemu. I don’t know whether there are spies who were slipped in by him.” (Nelgal)

“Therefore this is also a method to widely spread the news to the masses that you returned before reaching the capital, Nelgal-sama. Being informed boldly and flashily about your return is also a means to hinder assassins who dislike public attention. That’s also the reason for taking many defensive forces along.” (Imeraria)

“A large army for standing out and not as war potential… you say? Though that’s what you are saying, it can be considered as daring strategy that doesn’t suit its appearance.”

“… It’s just a young girl being desperate to recover her lost points.” (Imeraria)

Imeraria’s murmuring wasn’t even heard by anyone, but there was no one who would react to that either.

“However it’s also an extremely dangerous plan, too.” (Biron)

Biron opened his mouth.

“The enemy side… although they would be the ones doing it, we have to also consider the possibility of them coming to crush us with force while deliberately ignoring Nelgal-sama being on our side.” (Biron)

“Besides, is it necessary to hurry this much?”

Agreeing with Biron, Sabnak proposed a conservative theory, but Imeraria doesn’t nod her head stubbornly.

“It’s indispensable to make haste. For one the person, who is pulling the strings in Horant, will be allowed some margin accordingly if we drag it out. And then there are Hifumi-sama’s movements.” (Imeraria)

She sends a fleeting glance at Origa, however she shows a smile without reacting in any way whatsoever.
Although it’s no more than that, there are parts which worry Imeraria in reverse though.

“The probability for that gentleman to be in Horant is very high. If that man makes a move, the sacrifices, which usually would finish with one, will end up turning into 10 or 100.”

“… However, aren’t those victims on our Horant’s side?” (Nelgal)

“It’s not something Your Majesty has to mind”, Nelgal says uneasily.

“I have to disappoint you though.” (Imeraria)

Imeraria shook her head towards Nelgal’s anxiety.

“I’m unable to regard it this optimistically.” (Imeraria)

“Such foolishness”, Nelgal searched for approval in the surroundings, but Sabnak, Vaiya, Biron and no one else denies the “possibility of victims appearing on Orsongrande’s side due to Hifumi.”

“I-Isn’t Origa-sama, who is Earl Tohno’s wife, here as well?” (Nelgal)

“Oh my, thank you for worrying about me.” (Origa)

Being addressed by Nelgal, Origa replied with a smile.

“However, I’m afraid to tell you that from the beginning of my husband’s generosity and support I haven’t accepted anything except being a target for elimination as apparently expected. I believe my husband harbours the same thoughts as well. In that aspect Her Majesty’s thinking is splendid. It’s a method that is beneficial towards both, offence and defence. And she will be able to lead the files and ranks heroically by herself as well, right?” (Origa)

“Eeh?”

“Of course. A person who relaxes in a safe place by herself while exposing Nelgal-sama’s life to danger, shouldn’t be able to become an opponent as desired by Hifumi-sama either.” (Imeraria)

Dissenting opinions appeared one after the other, but Imeraria shut up her opponents.

“How about it, Nelgal-sama?” (Imeraria)

“… It can’t be helped that I’m against it. The current me is nothing, but in the current matter I shall give you my highest gratitude once things settled down.” (Nelgal)

Due to Nelgal bowing respectfully after standing up, Imeraria nodded generously.
Sabnak, who regarded this as correct behaviour of a ruler, naturally bows after standing up as well.

“And, Origa-san and Alyssa-san, I’d like to ask you for the cooperation of Fokalore’s soldiers.” (Imeraria)

“You are jesting. Haven’t many of the royal army’s forces been gathered here? What kind of role do you plan to assign to us who are no more than a small army force?” (Origa)

Imeraria returns a smile, without retreating even a bit, towards Origa who looks at her coldly and says that while laughing scornfully.

“It’s no joke. This is also something I was taught by Hifumi-sama. Origa-san and Alyss-san, you, who understand Hifumi-sama well, and the soldiers of Fokalore who are able to deal with situation after being coached by Hifumi-sama as soldiers. It’s not about numbers. I want to borrow your knowledge. The things you know. How important that is, I was taught personally by Hifumi-sama.” (Imeraria)

“I-Is that something to oppose Hifumi-san?” (Puuse)

When Puuse asked with a trembling voice, Imeraria clearly denied that with a 「No」.

“This is the “homework” I risked my life to obtain. Even if cut down the lives of other, I have to prove it. That’s my answer.” (Imeraria)

“I will go as well!” (Viine)

Once Viine declares that after standing up, Gengu and Malfas agree with her, too.
Due to those words, Imeraria looks at Origa without answering. That’s because she has entrusted the decisions about them to Fokalore.

“If it’s about this, I will have all of you beastmen promise to help Her Majesty to the best of your abilities. You are amateurs at war, but I’d like you to show me how much you are able to do nearby.” (Origa)

“However, as sovereign, I will conversely teach you that you can not end a war just by killing.” (Imeraria)

In the middle of the tingling mood, only Alyssa said “Buu buu” while pouting.

“I’m the one in charge of the forces though.” (Alyssa)

After deciding that the departure would be the next day, the battle, which will be the first directly led by a queen in Orsongrande’s history, was triggered by obstinacy of the queen herself.

 


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