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As first part of the plan Imeraria emphasized her staying in the vanguard together with Nelgal in an open-topped carriage, but receiving vehement opposition from Biron and Sabnak based on the concerns of her guarding, she reluctantly gave up on that.
In the end it was decided that seats would be installed on the large platform wagon for transporting goods brought along by Fokalore and Imeraria and Nelgal would board that wagon together with their guards. The reason is that it’s easy to guard and that it has speed albeit being large.
The knight unit led by Vaiya will serve as vanguard. Behind them will be the guarding knight unit including Imeraria and Sabnak. And after them it continues with Fokalore’s soldiers and then the main forces of Orsongrande’s royal army including the feudal army of Earl Biron.
Fokalore’s soldiers will be led by Alyssa. Origa will take along the beastmen and stay on the platform wagon together with Imeraria.
“Report the current state.” (Imeraria)
“Yes. it seems there are still several parties of soldiers remaining on Horant’s side of the national border, but it looks like their numbers don’t exceed 50.” (Sabnak)
Once Sabnak answered fluently, Imeraria nodded lordly.
“Well then, following the first part of the plan, Origa-san, please go ahead.” (Imeraria)
Origa held an iron wire while smiling.
“Then, commence the march.” (Imeraria)
Following Imeraria’s order, Sabnak raises his voice and Vaiya, who is visible at the head, raises one hand in response. The large army starts to go forward slowly.
Horant’s soldiers, who confirmed the army possessing more than 20 times their own force’s numbers after they arrived in front of the border, were in a state of agitation.
Above them being border guards, they had the duty to deal with the soldiers of the enemy nation who advanced up to the border, but the person in charge thought there are impossible situations at times without voicing it out.
“All members are to stay here. Send a messenger to contact the capital right away. Tell the capital Orsongrande attacked the border with a large army. Wake up those sleeping as well. It will end with us being crushed underfoot if we can’t muster all our strength!”
While giving such directions, he silently glared at the advancing army of Orsongrande and thought Even if we give it our best, will be probably crushed underfoot though.
Suddenly a voice reached his ears.
『Can you hear this voice?』
Once he looks around, it seems that the other soldiers have heard that voice as well. All of them are turning around their heads while looking at the surroundings restlessly.
『My name is Imeraria Torie Orsongrande. I’m the queen of Orsongrande. I’m calling out to you, all of Horant’s soldiers at the border, with magic.』 (Imeraria)
That was Origa’s spell.
She amplifies the voice with wind magic and yet makes it sustain a directionality. It was a spell possible to only Origa who received Hifumi’s guidance regarding sound waves.
“Her voice is delivered by magic, she says? Such a stupid…”
As the soldiers get flustered, the calling out to them continues further.
『Since I’m unfortunately unable to pick up your voices, I will make an one-sided announcement. Currently the next king of Horant, Nelgal-sama, is with us. I believe you can see him him if your eyes are good enough.』 (Imeraria)
Once the knights, who were in front of Imeraria, part to the left and right, Imeraria, who is on top of a platform wagon, and Nelgal, who is sitting next to her, are visible.
As there are also several people among Horant’s guards who know Nelgal’s face, several of them state “There’s no mistake about it.”
『We don’t have come to invade Horant. We came for the sake of delivering Nelgal-sama safely to the capital. But.』 (Imeraria)
The knights once again blocked the way in front of Imeraria and drew their weapons.
The knights’ weapons are originally spears and swords, but in addition there are also those who are wielding kusarigama‘s and swords similar to katana’s.
『If you become an obstacle, please resolve yourselves suitably.』 (Imeraria)
As the queen’s proclamation finishes, the army begins to advance slowly once again.
The border guards of Horant had already no intention to fight.
“The number of soldiers is more than 1000, you say? Haven’t you made some kind of mistake?” (Kuzemu)
The messenger, who brought the information from the border with a feeling of desperation, was shouted at with an angry voice by Kuzemu just as he finished his report.
“H-However, I did confirm with these eyes that a large army has actually drawn near the national border!”
As if being vexed by getting doubted, the messenger raises his voice.
“With that kind of large army entering our country…” (Kuzemu)
“That’s why I told you, didn’t I?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who hung around Kuzemu’s office as usual, laughs.
“It’s odd to believe in them not coming to attack out of fear just because those useless things made their appearance.” (Hifumi)
“Are you saying that there are countermeasures?” (Gaap)
Hifumi shakes his head towards the question of Gaap who visited this place frequently in order to listen to Hifumi.
“It won’t be fun, if I told you that, right? If you might get defeated once you simply show yourself in front of the enemy, consider the way of showing yourself.” (Hifumi)
“I-I see.” (Gaap)
Even that exchange makes Kuzemu irritated.
The state of them begging for instructions while bowing their heads towards Hifumi, who should be their enemy, is continuing endlessly in front of his eyes.
Even the messenger, who doesn’t understand the circumstances, knows that Kuzemu has become displeased in the blink of an eye.
“Well then, it’s the crucial moment!” (Hifumi)
When Hifumi stands up all of a sudden, the looks of everyone inside the room gather on him.
“It was faster than expected, but if it goes according to my prediction, Imeraria and the others are probably aiming to come here directly. If that woman possesses the intelligence to lower her head for the sake of her goal, she will head here in one stretch by getting Fokalore’s help.” (Hifumi)
“It’s what I would have done”, Hifumi grinned at Kuzemu.
“T-Then, won’t their march stop once you come forth? Since we are currently in the process of building a friendship… right, a friendly relationship…”
“What madness are you talking about? I told you, didn’t I? Go to war, I said.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi draws his katana while stepping in front of Kuzemu.
Due to his far too natural motion, the people in the surroundings were completely unable to react until the katana’s point was thrust before Kuzemu’s left eye.
“If you don’t have any intention to do so, you will die here. That Gaap still has promise, but…” (Hifumi)
“I got it! Please take away the weapon, I understood!” (Kuzemu)
Once Kuzemu raised his voice into something similar to a scream, he, who sweated like a waterfall, repeatedly breathed hard after the katana vanished.
“Gaap! I leave the defence of the castle to you bastard!” (Kuzemu)
“As you order.” (Gaap)
Kuzemu, who issued reckless instructions, stood up while being unsteady on his feet and left the office.
Without there being anyone who follows him, Gaap, who got worked up, feigned ignorance at the state of Kuzemu, bowed towards Hifumi and left for the sake of preparing the interception.
Hifumi called out to the messenger who was left behind.
“This place is the capital city, right? I thought that there will be a large number of soldiers and such if they are scraped up together, but it looks like there are strangely few. Did something happen?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who held the impression that there were also quite a few soldiers outside the castle after he marched in by himself previously and even squared off against Suprangel, felt like asking while selfishly walking around inside the castle during daytime.
“Well, previously a large amount of soldiers were assembled by conscripting from the common populace, but since mercenaries were abolished by the late king, there isn’t even a third left in comparison to before.”
One can say there are many people remaining from before since the treatment of things like salary got improved, however the difference in numbers can readily be called a sharp decrease. Seeing the soldiers of Fokalore, Suprangel apparently believed 「It’s useless even if there’s a large number of riff-raff」. Around the time when the instruction unit arrived after being dispatched from Fokalore, he tried to circulate the planned budget into treatment and equipment by decreasing the numbers rapidly.
“I see. So around how many soldiers are currently available to defend this capital?” (Hifumi)
“I don’t know the precise number, but it’s around 3000, I guess?”
If the defending side has three times the numbers of the attacking side, it will likely be quite harsh, he thought, but Hifumi, who was bothered how Imeraria intends to fight with only that many soldiers, can’t suppress a broad grin.
As the messenger was crept out, he opened the door to get away and that’s when Hifumi called out to him from behind.
“Ah, that’s right. Don’t flap your mouth too much about the true state of affairs.” (Hifumi)
The messenger, who had a bright red face out of embarrassment for having his blunder pointed out and anger showing 「The one who asked was you, wasn’t it?」 on his expression, left without saying a single word.
“… Well, it’s several days ahead ((of schedule))?” (Hifumi)
Muttering that, Hifumi threw himself on the reception sofa.
“I wonder how Alyssa will perform? I’m itching to do something, but I have to stay patient, must stay patient.” (Hifumi)
“Come to think of it, I left Origa behind”, he remembered this late in the game, but she isn’t someone I have to particularly worry about, now is she? he shut his eyes.
After Horant’s border guards divided to the left and right as if cleaved open by a wave, Vaiya’s group boldly advanced through their middle.
Apparently feeling quite tense after all by going forward between the enemy, the knights had uniformly stiff expression and that also included the guards who came after them.
“It isn’t such a bold move once you actually have a go at it either.” (Nelgal)
Imeraria doesn’t respond to Nelgal’s mumbling.
Once she turned her look to him after considering it odd, what she could see was him being nervous with his teeth chattering while having a serious look.
When the platform wagon with Nelgal enters the space between the soldiers, he quickly stands up.
“I’m Nelgal who will become the king of this country, Horant. I don’t know what kind of idiot considered something like attacking Orsongrande, but fortunately I acquired the help of Her Majesty, Imeraria, the queen of Orsongrande. Those, who are listening to what I’m saying now in this place, convey my words to the people and your colleagues!” (Nelgal)
Surprised showed on Imeraria’s face for an instant due to the sudden speech, but her expression reverted to a serious one right away as she knows his aim.
It’s easy to tell that it’s an unexpected action going by Nelgal’s guards being surprised as well. Sabnak being startled showed on his face and his eyes kept being widely open.
Imeraria realizes that it’s impossible for Sabnak to express himself without words and gestures.
“Orsongrande is powerful!” (Nelgal)
Nelgal declared in a loud voice.
“All of you are probably aware of the skills of the instruction unit dispatched by Fokalore! If you ask, haven’t they even defeated a giant soldier who used magic tools which were supposed to be lost technology!? How do you all intend to oppose such Orsongrande!?” (Nelgal)
Although the soldiers of Horant are dumbfounded, dissatisfaction gradually appears on their faces.
Even they know of the strength of Orsongrande’s soldiers. There is no one who doesn’t know about them having easily invaded the royal castle and all of them witnessed a skill that advanced in a different direction of magic.
Though they don’t raise their voices, displeasure is commonly shared by them. Bringing it up again at this point in time, they wonder what to do after having their own army being looked down upon.
“So, what will you do?” (Nelgal)
Nelgal reveals a smile.
“It’s fine for you to become our comrades. If it’s together with Orsongrande, just as the late king Suprangel planned, those skills will prove successful to protect ourselves from those killing us. Who was it that that thrust you into a dangerous position now!? Besides, is there any reason to obey? If that’s not the case, isn’t overthrowing that someone together with us what you should do now? To bring down that fool!” (Nelgal)
The astonishment, felt by the soldiers, spreads just like a wave and gradually turns into voices praising Nelgal.
Nelgal, who surveyed the vicinity calmly, apologizes to Imeraria with a 「Sorry for acting on my own」 while sitting down.
“No, it was a good speech. Just as you said now, while we are allies my Orsongrande will be a good neighbour of Horant.” (Imeraria)
“… Thanks for your consideration. Let’s leave a deep impression.” (Nelgal)
“Well then, Sabnak-san, let’s go ahead. The destination is still far away.” (Imeraria)
The army advances.
More than half of Horant’s guards followed their march.
(It’s going well. … Seeing that Fokalore’s army is on our side, Hifumi-sama himself probably won’t stand in our way, but I wonder when the enemy will show up. Along the route? Or will they lie in wait at the capital?) (Imeraria)
Imeraria stole a fleeting glance at Origa who sits diagonally behind her.
Imeraria has the intention to genuinely hasten the preparations of the sealing magic formulae in regards to Hifumi once the problem with Horant is put in order.
(For that reason, although I feel sorry about it, Origa-san, I will make the best use out of you.) (Imeraria)
There was something no one realised, even not Imeraria herself. Even though everyone pondered about restraining Hifumi, they don’t consider killing him.
If you call this the naivety of the people of this world, including Imeraria, it ends here, but Imeraria still didn’t realize about there being an emotion inside herself that has changed into something that is not “hate” towards Hifumi.