Chapter 150 – Come Out And Play

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“What the hell is happening? What happened to Tannin!?” (Kuzemu)

Kuzemu, who confirmed the disorder at the front from his carriage, shouts at the surrounding soldiers.
However, those, who indulged in the safety of being in the centre of the ranks, had no means to know about the sudden changes at the front line.
If Kuzemu himself ordered them to check the situation and report to him at this point, the outcome might have been quite different. However, it was likely necessary for the soldier with the duty of checking to be “exceedingly” excellent for that to happen.
In any case, there wasn’t anyone at Kuzemu’s side who was able to explain the chaos at the front line.

◆◇◆

“Gyaah!!”

Even the soldier, who was in the vicinity of the carriage transporting the immortal soldiers that were deployed to the front, has been killed by Hifumi’s party before being allowed to choose the option of running away.
With the majority of immortal soldiers lost, the rest is handled by Origa and the other girls.
Half of the soldiers engages Hifumi, who applies pressure on them by attacking after plunging deeply into the centre of Kuzemu’s army, to finish him off while the other half escapes.
Excluding those who unluckily headed in the direction of Origa’s group, the escapees hid themselves by taking refuge in a nearby cities and prolonged their lives by surrendering to the troops of the nobles governing those cities.
The ones who saw hell were the soldiers who chose to stand in Hifumi’s way.

“Stop him! Stop that guy!”

“Call the magic soldiers!”

Even during the commanding officers’ yells, the losses amongst their subordinates continued to spread.
Precisely stabbing eyes and throats, which aren’t protected by the helmets, with the sharp point of the katana, the brains and arteries are destroyed.
Among them, a small number of those, who received Ma Calme’s unit’s teaching, are apparently able to move properly.
Three soldiers use the opportunity to close in on Hifumi when he squats down to avoid swords thrown by soldiers from Horant who have jumped up to strike from left and right.
Two swords aim at his feet and waist by sweeping sideways and one sword is swung downwards from an overhead stance. Moreover they are approaching from three different directions.

“Hou?” (Hifumi)

While releasing a voice similar to admiration, Hifumi grabbed the arm of the soldier, who came to attack his waist, and changed the location of the soldier by vigorously turning his own body around.

“Uwaah!”

The soldier, who stumbled a step or two forward due to being dragged into Hifumi’s rotation, suddenly appeared in front of the slashing attack of his ally.

“Wai….!”

Receiving the heavy long sword on his head, the soldier faints.
Hifumi, who evaded the slash by switching with his enemy, cut down the remaining two while in the process of turning around due to the momentum of that.
Noticing that the soldier, who was at the very bottom of the three piled-up bodies, is still breathing, Hifumi stands in front of his eyes.

“Where’s your guys’ ringleader?” (Hifumi)

“… Further behind, is, I think…”

“What his name?” (Hifumi)

“… Tannin…”

Hifumi delivered the final blow to the soldier, who answered while gasping, with a *pierce*.
Watching Hifumi who easily dealt with the simultaneous attack by three soldiers, the surrounding soldiers take a distance and form a circle around him.

“… Over there, huh?” (Hifumi)

Ignoring the mob, he confirms the carriage visible ahead of the enemy army.
Different from Orsongrande that absorbed Fokalore’s way of organizing a military supply unit to transport goods, something like a carriage stands out on Horant’s side as they are still using the system of everyone carrying their own supplies.

“Move it! Clear the way!” (Hifumi)

The soldiers retreat in fright from in front of Hifumi who began to run towards the distinct carriage.
However, they are too slow.
A soldier, who turned his back on him, stares with an expression of surprise due to the katana’s point protruding out from his throat after it has been stabbed into the back of his neck.

“Did you think that you would have the time to retreat? The time for that has already passed. Do your best while fighting or strive to escape. If you retreat while simply showing your back, that will settle your death, won’t it?” (Hifumi)

Hifumi pulls out his katana with a short *slurp* and wipes it with a paper.
While the paper, which was tossed away, dances in the wind, the remaining soldiers have already lost the willpower to fight and are gradually backing away.

☺☻☺

The moment when Kuzemu grasped the state of affairs was the time when he saw Hifumi’s face.
When Hifumi entered the carriage by smashing the carriage’s door with a kick as if bursting it open, Kuzemu’s face was about to have its jaw dislocated due to surprise and he wore a miserable expression with his mouth open.

“Y-You are…” (Kuzemu)

“Let me ask one thing? What are those puppets? They disqualify as toys as they break far too easily for a present which was carried after carefully packing it into a box.” (Hifumi)

While tapping the katana at his waist, he glares at Kuzemu.

“You thought it will go well if there’s a large amount of them? Having the scariness of numbers on your side means an increase in the number of moves and choices of possible reactions. Even if you had gathered countless of those dolls that turn up one after the other, there wouldn’t be any kind of meaning to it.”

“You know, I”, Hifumi draws his katana and thrusts it in front of Kuzemu’s eyes.

“don’t want to see a puppet show. I’m sure I told you. Let’s have a war where plenty of people die is what I said.” (Hifumi)

Unable to take his eyes off the gradually approaching tip of the katana, Kuzemu started to quiver.

“I-Isn’t there anyone…?” (Kuzemu)

It doesn’t seem likely that his small, trembling voice reached the noisy outside of the carriage.
Besides, currently there are the three members of Origa’s group around the carriage.
Far from getting close, everyone has started to back off from the carriage due to the shuriken and spells which are hurled at them even as they leave.

“Even though I gave you teaching advices after expressly coming to your place, you are in this situation. I wonder how I’m supposed to release this seething anger?” (Hifumi)

“E-Even if you tell me, nothing…” (Kuzemu)

“Really? I see.” (Hifumi)

He withdrew the katana and sheathed it into its scabbard.
Seeing that, Kuzemu took deep breaths making his shoulders go up and down as if he was finally able to breathe.
However, it was also a momentary relief.

“Like this!” (Hifumi)

He seizes Kuzemu’s throat with the right hand that separated from the hilt.
With his carotid artery being pressured by Hifumi’s thumb and index finger, Kuzemu ended up fainting quickly after a short interval of struggling.
Throwing down Kuzemu on the ground of the carriage, Hifumi leaves.
Countless corpses are piled up outside and the stench of blood drifted about.

“Thanks for your hard work, Hifumi-sama.” (Origa)

The one who approached him directly was Origa.

“I will go to Horant’s capital next. Since I will be using this carriage to go there…” (Hifumi)

“I shall accompany you.” (Origa)

When Origa replied in a flash, Hifumi gave his permission by muttering 「Well, it’s fine I guess」.

“Umm, I will follow you as well!” (Viine)

She probably hung on frantically. Viine, who was gasping for breath, decided to follow them, too.

“Then me as well.” (Alyssa)

“You are not allowed.” (Hifumi)

“Why!?” (Alyssa)

Alyssa had hoped to accompany them , but was quickly rejected.

“This is your’s and Imeraria’s assignment, isn’t it? Since we will go to the castle in advance, quickly return to your soldiers and command them.” (Hifumi)

“Eh~…” (Alyssa)

Leaving Alyssa who has become sullen, he entrusts the carriage to Origa and Viine and stands in front of the remaining soldiers while they are moving about in confusion due to still being unable to grasp the situation.

“Alright, I caught your guys’ leader. Do your best to get him back.” (Hifumi)

The soldiers are astir due to Hifumi who drew his katana. Since they aren’t aware of the situation, they can’t understand him boarding the carriage with a few and moreover having them approach him with a great number even if they understand that the man in front of them is their enemy.

“B-Beat them up! We have to rescue His Excellency Kuzemu!”

Hifumi smiled once someone who might be a commanding officer raised his voice.

“Yes, it will be fine like that… Origa! Follow with the carriage!” (Hifumi)

No sooner than shouting that, Hifumi caused a sound similar to an explosion.
The soldier, who was right in front of him, received a thrust to his throat and died in an instant.
Hifumi wards off a spear, which was unleashed from his side without a moment’s delay, with the scabbard by twisting his waist and cuts off both of the the soldier’s arms letting them fall.

“Aah!!”

The soldier, who screamed something inarticulate, died by having the katana stabbed into his mouth.

◆◇◆

“Viine-san, please be the driver.” (Origa)

“Yes, understood.” (Viine)

As Viine grasps the reins and begins to spur on the horse in order to chase after Hifumi’s back, Origa climbs the roof of the carriage and makes a daunting pose.

“Your gentlemen’ superior is on this carriage. Attack it if you don’t mind dying after getting involved.” (Origa)

While concealing her mouth with the iron-ribbed fan which was opened with an unfolding sound, she smiles gently.

“But then again, if you are that high-spirited, can you enjoy yourselves by heading towards my husband who is currently fighting in front?” (Origa)

During the time she was talking, the head of a soldier, who sidled up to the carriage, dropped to the ground.
It had been removed by the knife, which serves her as medium for magic, in Origa’s right hand.

“That’s right. It’s been long-awaited thus I shall announce it to you all from Horant who are strong at magic.” (Origa)

She closes the iron-ribbed fan making a hard clanking resound.

“My magic can be released freely even without me pointing the knife at my target.” (Origa)

A wind-cutting sound reached the ears of some soldiers and in the next instant blood overflew from their napes and their heads fell.

☺☻☺

Thanks to Sabnak’s orders, the nets and corpses were mostly removed, but at that time the figures of Hifumi’s group had already vanished far ahead.

“Their pace is faster than expected…” (Nelgal)

Once Nelgal ordered to shelter the soldiers who escaped from Kuzemu’s side while at the same time announcing to forcibly break through the spot where Hifumi cut through, he advanced his horse while calling out to Kuzemu’s side in a loud voice.
Nelgal, who joined in on Imeraria’s plan he was told about by Sabnak, looks at the location where Hifumi apparently went ahead to.
There are far more corpses scattered around there than at the place which was cleaned just now. Several soldiers, who escaped away from the highway, are observing the situation with frightened expressions.

“Join us! You aren’t my enemies. You are soldiers of Horant! Accomplish your original duty by coming to our side!” (Nelgal)

It’s not just corpses of immortal soldiers but also a large number of corpses of common soldiers.
50 have died according to what’s just reflected in his line of sight.

“How awful…” (Nelgal)

Was it really necessary to go this far? Nelgal harbours such doubt towards Hifumi, but currently he hasn’t the leeway to use his head to think about this.
While moving the corpses to the sides, the large army advances.
The leading group consists of soldiers from Horant, but right behind them the soldiers of Orsongrande are following while being led by Imeraria.

◆◇◆

At the moment when the nets and corpses were cleared away to a certain extent, Alyssa came back with heavy feet.

“Huh? Alyssa-san?” (Nelgal)

Alyssa replied to Nelgal, who called out to her from atop his horse, by waving her hand.

“Being told to do my job, I ended up returning. What should I do from now on?” (Alyssa)

“You were able to dispose of the nets, weren’t you?” She mentions care-freely, but Alyssa is also someone who rushed into the enemy’s camp alongside Hifumi. She is covered by a large amount of blood spurts. Nelgal can feel something heavy hanging in the air around her that doesn’t suit the lightness of her tone.

“We will pass through the hole opened by Hifumi-san. We will even recover the capital. Can you help us with that?” (Nelgal)

“Mmh, got it.” (Alyssa)

Nelgal called out to Alyssa, who heads to the rear while trudging once again after nodding as if it’s a trifling matter, in a panic.

“What will Hifumi-san do?” (Nelgal)

“I will go to the capital, he said.” (Alyssa)

While seeing off Alyssa who begins to walk again after answering without hesitation, Nelgal was spurred on by the uneasiness Anyway, if I don’t hurry…

☺☻☺

“What is that gentleman planning…?” (Imeraria)

The greatly perplexed Imeraria was caught by Puuse, who was next to her, after she slid off the chair due to an excessive drain of strength.
The army, which was prepared by Kuzemu, lost its leaders thanks to Tannin’s absences and Kuzemu’s abduction. Because of the losses they suffered from Hifumi including the annihilation of the immortal soldiers, the matter of having them join was more successful and simple than expected by Nelgal as they had already diverted from maintaining a structure as organization.
Running swiftly along the highway without taking a break, the allied forces of Horant and Orsongrande, which forcibly broke through the capital’s gates and the centre, set up camp making use of the plaza in front of the castle.
No, deciding to set up camp, they couldn’t avoid stopping for a moment to do so.

“P-Please save meee!”

The tied-up Kuzemu was suspended from the balcony, which faced the plaza that continued into the main street, with a single long rope.

“Someone! Anyoneee!” (Kuzemu)

At the moment when Nelgal reflexively gave the order to stop after being shown the far too pitiful view, Hifumi suddenly showed up on the balcony.
Gaap is visible next to him.

 

Text in illustration follows below.

 

“You finally came?” (Hifumi)

Hifumi’s voice carried well. It reached even Nelgal’s and Imeraria’s ears.

“Imeraria, Alyssa! Some time ago you were let down by the disappointing weapons of this fool. Instead of those, I prepared a game. Although you will be betting your lives, it’s fine to have some fun.” (Hifumi)

Once he said that much, he quickly withdrew.
It seems like the remaining Gaap has been told something by Hifumi, but it’s not audible for Imeraria’s group who is watching from below.

“Umm… that means, everyone, please do your best to rescue His Excellency Kuzemu.” (Gaap)

Originally the voice of Gaap while reading from a memo shouldn’t be audible, but Imeraria, Nelgal and the others could hear it well.

“This is… Origa-san’s magic, isn’t it?” (Imeraria)

Sabnak heard what Imeraria grumbled, but when he looked all over the castle, he didn’t find Origa.
Gaap’s explanation continued.

“Please feel relieved as we made all non-combatants leave the castle. Instead, many traps and immortal soldiers will stand in your way. The time limit is until sunset. At the same time as the sun goes down, the rope, which holds His Excellency Kuzemu, will be severed. Also, given that we have released immortal soldiers inside the city, please do your best to capture them… I guess it’s fine with this.” (Gaap)

At the moment the last murmuring could be heard, the spell was apparently cancelled. Gaap’s voice didn’t reach them any longer.
And, once the front gate slowly opened, around thirty soldiers rushed out as if escaping.
Once they discovered the figures of their colleagues and Nelgal, they prostrated themselves by sliding in front of Nelgal.

“N-Nelgal-sama! Please forgive us! The castle has, the castle has…!”

After looking at Nelgal who is soothing them with a troubled expression, Sabnak, who once again lifted his gaze, mutters,

“If the one who has been captured is a middle-aged man and not a beautiful girl, that’s a person who won’t trigger any motivation. Well, I understand plentifully why the world’s hero stories tell about saving princesses.” (Sabnak)

Due to his objection by playing a fool, Imeraria stood up and spanked his butt with a whip used for horse riding.

 

 


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