Sabnak and Midas patrolled the king’s castle upon Imeraria’s order while armed.
The veil of darkness had already descended within the castle. Having only a minimal lighting by the magical lamps, the darkness further down the long corridors appears to be spreading forever.
“Something like patrolling with Midas-senpai, that’s something that happened during training when I entered the Knight Unit, right?” (Sabnak)
It’s been a while since they wore normal armor. Wondering what this feeling of discomfort was, Sabnak occasionally adjusted the armor’s fasteners while making an effort to be cheerful.
“Can’t you be a bit more silent? We don’t know when it will turn into a battle.” (Midas)
“But, a thief or such won’t break into the castle, no? Those coming and going are thoroughly checked by the First Knight Unit and there are also some members of the Third Knight Unit making their rounds in the vicinity of the castle, isn’t that so?” (Sabnak)
Midas sighed at Sabnak who was under the impression that the castle’s inside was safe.
“What happened today? Even you should know that, I suppose.” (Midas)
“Are you talking about the matter of Imeraria-sama announcing her intention to inherit the crown?” (Sabnak)
“So, though the First Knight Unit usually is guarding this castle, why do you think we were mobilized? … That’s the answer to your question.” (Midas)
Discovering the figures of people ahead in front, Midas stops and draws his sword.
Before his eyes there are three members of the First Knight Unit standing holding their spears.
“Going beyond this point is forbidden.” (Knight)
One of the First Knight Unit’s members said.
Midas remembered this man. He was an excellent knight amongst the Knight Unit. He heard that there were rumors of him being promoted to the rank of vice-captain soon. He is called Frederik (T/N: >> Furederikku <<). Talking about the skill in swordsmanship, Midas, being amongst the lower-middle ranks within the Third Knight Unit, was clearly at disadvantage at any rate.
But he can’t simply turn back while saying “Yes, that’s how it is.”
“We have been summoned to Imeraria-sama’s room farther down this hall. Let us pass.” (Midas)
“Hah, if you are from the Third Knight Unit, why are you trying to sneak around and conceal yourself? In this situation it will become an achievement if we boldly kill you guys.” (Frederik)
Even though Frederik is laughing scornfully, Midas is watching the other party calmly.
“What is your aim… ? No, I know what you’re scheming. But to move this quickly.” (Midas)
“This was commanded by the lady possessing the most authority in this country. It is impossible for anyone to prevent it. And, each of us, who protect the royal castle, believe that we are contributing to the kingdom’s stability.” (Frederik)
“Even the act of stealing the life of a young girl?” (Midas)
“We can’t expose the country to danger just to protect a single life.” (Frederik)
Towards Midas’ inquiry, Frederik answered as if it was a natural matter.
“A girl’s life… Midas-san?!” (Sabnak)
“It appears that Her Majesty the Queen is moving in order to remove Imeraria-sama. It seems that the First Knight Unit sides with Her Majesty.” (Midas)
“That’s how it is. I don’t recall your face, but that young fellow is called Sabnak or something, right? Since I am hearing that you are an excellent knight, I will promote you to the First Knight Unit, if you support us now.” (Frederik)
As he heard the talk about being promoted, Sabnak got angry.
Originally, the popular names like First or Second are nothing more than the order how the Knight Units are organized. But, having a high percentage of high-ranking nobles as alumnae, the First Knight Unit, based on their showy defense of the castle, has many members who look down upon the other Knight Units.
It seems that even Frederik hasn’t escaped this custom.
Don’t let him provoke you! Sabnak restrains himself.
“What a foolish thing. If you think about the people standing on Imeraria-sama’s side currently, you should know that this is suicidal.” (Sabnak)
“The fools are you guys of the Third Knight Unit. Letting such trash as that risen earl do as he pleases! Becoming enthusiastic about someone you don’t even know where he comes from nor what kind of person he is, I wonder what’s up with that princess.” (Frederik)
Slamming the spear’s pommel onto the ground, Frederik’s face, warping unseemly, revealed his rage.
“If it were me, I would have already gotten rid of that man! He is returning to his territory while those within the king’s castle are shivering in fear where this man called Hifumi is concerned. Such unsightly behavior! Although the point of today’s operation by Her Majesty’s plan focuses on the time Hifumi isn’t here, originally it would have been better to properly cut that guy to pieces straight from the front.” (Frederik)
Watching the enraged Frederik, Sabnak ended up bursting into laughter unintentionally.
“What’s so funny!” (Frederik)
“No… I just think that it isn’t smart to underestimate Hifumi-san in such manner.” (Sabnak)
Which reminds me, if Pajou-senpai had been only a little bit more careful, she might have avoided dying. Remembering her face, Sabnak’s laughter changed into a bitter smile.
Frederik’s angry voice, trying to inhale, was stopped by the shuriken stuck in his neck.
Owed to the overwhelming force, Frederik’s head was thrown back as he collapsed while spurting out blood.
“Uwa?!” (Knight A)
“Frederik!” (Knight B)
His colleagues standing on both sides quickly caught his falling body, but they knew that he had already passed away.
“This is… ” (Sabnak)
Thinking it was Hifumi, Sabnak and Midas turned around and saw Origa, whose face had become white and expressionless due to overwhelming fury.
“… I decided to come and have a look since it became noisy, just to hear this filthy mouth slandering Hifumi… !” (Origa)
Origa, without paying Sabnak and Midas any attention, was looking at the surviving knights of the First Knight Unit. Midas, judging it to be dangerous, escaped by dragging Sabnak to the side of the corridor.
“Bastard! Who are you!” (Knight B)
One of the knights approached Origa pushing out their spear, but she didn’t move while holding out her right hand in front.
Without understanding what she was trying to do, at the moment he stopped to fix his spear stance, Origa removed the soldier’s head from the neck with her wind magic.
“There is no need for me to tell scum like you guys my name.” (Origa)
Murmuring this in a small voice as if it is fine for them to not hear it, her line of sight turns towards the remaining knight.
“Hasn’t that girl somehow gradually turned more scary from before?” (Sabnak)
“Shh! Be quiet!” (Midas)
Without it being clear whether she didn’t hear Sabnak’s words or decided to ignore them, Origa’s gaze didn’t waver.
“D-Don’t come closer!” (Knight A)
After seeing that she didn’t use the wand to display her magic, he judged it to be an unknown attack and readied his spear while slowly retreating.
Even so, without stopping her feet, just as he thought so, Origa took out a rod, that was a little longer than 30 centimeters, from her bosom and gracefully held it in one hand.
It was an iron folding fan, though it was something that no one in this world had seen before.
Everyone, who were at the scene, couldn’t contain their feeling of perplexity due to the unknown metal craftsmanship. Origa caressed the iron-ribbed fan with rapt attention.
“She took out a strange thing once again… ” (Knight A)
These words were prohibited.
“Strange… ? You are calling this iron-ribbed fan I received from Hifumi-sama strange…” (Origa)
With her green pupils shining darkly, Origa briskly walked up to the knight and swung her folding fan from the right hand side to the left.
“Ubeh… ?” (Knight A)
Without reacting to Origa’s movement, the knight was bewildered as the flesh of his cheek was torn off completely.
“Insulting this weapon is like insulting Hifumi-sama. Apologize by dying.” (Origa)
With a sound of *bashitto* she folded up the iron-ribbed fan and stabbed it into the throat of the knight who was writhing as he held his face.
The fallen knight spurt out blood from his mouth with a *buwa* and died without even twitching. Imitating Hifumi, Origa retrieved a paper from her breast pocket and gently wiped the iron-ribbed fan clean before putting it back with great care.
She turns her gaze, which had become only slightly tender, towards Midas and Sabnak.
“Midas-san, Sabnak-san, what do you think about the weapon you have seen just now?” (Origa)
“I-It seems e-easy to use. I-I think it i-is a fine w-weapon.” (Sabnak)
“T-That’s r-right. I-I think it s-somewhat matches y-our elegance.” (Midas)
As the two desperately lined up words of praise in panic, Origa smiled sweetly.
“Thank you very much. As thanks I will pretend to forget about your impolite comments from before.” (Origa)
(She heard them!) (Midas)
Disregarding the frozen Sabnak with his forced smile, Midas bowed towards Origa.
“You have my thanks for saving us. Had it stayed like that, we wouldn’t have had a chance of victory.” (Midas)
“There is no need to thank me. I just came looking for you guys following Hifumi-sama’s instruction.” (Origa)
“Yes, I am to tell you, “From now on until dawn, not a single person is allowed to leave the castle.” I shall help you with this task as well.” (Origa)
“Just what the heck…” (Midas)
“It’s nothing but a little hunt within the cage.” (Origa)
It was 10 elite soldiers picked from among the First Knight Unit who broke into Imeraria’s bedroom.
Shoving the maid standing in front of the door on standby by brute force aside, the knights clasped their spears tightly and quietly opened the door. They glared at the bed with its canopy attached situated in the middle of the room you wouldn’t consider to be a bedroom due to its sheer degree of vastness.
Their mission is to kill the girl sleeping there currently. While persuading themselves that it is for the sake of the country, they are slowly approaching the bed.
Wholeheartedly not wanting to watch the moment the young lady dies, they are continuing to stab their spears one by one at the bulging bed cover from the outside the thin curtains of the canopy.
As they sensed the spears penetrating flesh, feelings of guilt were planted within the knights, but they suppressed their hearts by reminding themselves that this was a just cause.
As a katana protruded from the other side of the curtain, the carotid artery of the neck of one of the knights was severed.
Within the downpour of blood Hifumi comes out from within the curtains while swinging his katana.
In his left hand he is holding the corpse of a woman riddled with spear holes. He tossed it in front of the faltering knights. At the time they comprehended that this was the corpse of the queen, the knights couldn’t do anything but lose their presence of mind unable to swallow the current state of affairs.
However, there was only one single knight amongst them who was different.
“All hands, get ready! Don’t get panicked in front of the enemy!”
Due to the roar in a thunderous voice for the knights to not let down their guard and prepare themselves, the other knights fixed their spear stance having life return into their eyes.
“Hee… ” (Hifumi)
With a completely delightful facial expression Hifumi descended from the bed. He kicked the queen’s corpse to the side in order to put it out-of-the-way.
“I’d like you to not obstruct us, Earl Tohno. Where is Imeraria-sama?”
“Who gives a damn about something like that. What is your name?” (Hifumi)
“I am called Deumus, vice-captain of the First Knight Unit. Earl Tohno, please, I’d like you to tell us the whereabouts of the princess” (Deumus)
“Even though your master has passed away over there?” (Hifumi)
“You still want to go on?” hearing this from Hifumi, Deumus clenched his teeth.
“We have sworn our lives to the duty of Prince Ayperos to become king. For that reason we can’t stop here … If you plan to hinder us, I will have you die.” (Deumus)
“If that’s the case, let’s get going.” (Hifumi)
Grabbing his katana with both hands, he stepped forward with his left foot by half a step in order to hide his back.
On a first glance this can be seen as defenseless stance, but Deumus isn’t able to discover a gap he can thrust his spear into. As the katana doesn’t enter his visual field, he can’t fathom in what way it might approach him.
(This much…) (Deumus)
Deumus doesn’t know anything about Hifumi’s strength except what he read in the reports. But now he experiences it for the first time himself.
In contrast to Deumus, who is attempting to close the distance between them impatiently, Hifumi sets up calmly.
Another knight couldn’t stand the tension.
Against the knight releasing fierce thrusts, Hifumi cut off the spear diagonally in a flash as if scooping it up. And moreover, as he was using the blade to slash it diagonally from the shoulder he severed the knight’s foot from its root.
The one-legged knight, rolling around in circles, died before long due to loss of blood.
“What was that just now… ?”
Deumus barely managed to watch the sword’s path, but the others didn’t grasp what happened. Without even taking a single step, Hifumi executed two slashes within a person’s breath visible only by him turning his waist.
“Come, come, come on, there are still a lot of you ・・left!” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, returning to his previous stance of halving his left foot in front, says in a jesting tone.
“If you lot don’t get going … I will.” (Deumus)
Just that they would instead become a hindrance to Deumus, the other knights retreated to the rear.
Conversely, making only one step forward, Deumus, lowering his posture, prepares his spear.
“You are dangerous. I will end it here even if it means stabbing each other.” (Deumus)
“That’s good. It’s fine for you to try.” (Hifumi)
The first to move was Deumus.
Equal to the speed of Hifumi’s katana just now, Deumus drives the spearhead into Hifumi’s face.
Hifumi shifts his stance by drawing back the left foot a half step. He moves back until Deumus’ attack just barely doesn’t reach him. Without changing his posture, he cuts upwards with his katana.
“That’s a technique I have seen before!” (Deumus)
Swiftly pulling back his spear, he deflects the katana with the spearhead and used that force to thrust the spear a second time.
While drawing the katana back to himself, Hifumi averts the spearhead coming for him from the side to the outside.
After this instant of offence and defence, Deumus took his distance.
“You are well skilled. You are using your spear quite proficiently. But your manners aren’t very good.” (Hifumi)
Deumus doesn’t answer.
Changing his posture, Hifumi adopts a stance of directly aiming at the eyes with his katana.
“There is still a hopeless guy I haven’t killed yet. I will finish it soon because I am sleepy.” (Hifumi)
Before Hifumi finished his words, Deumus drove his spear aiming at Hifumi’s heart.
As Hifumi doesn’t show any intention to avoid it, Deumus is confident in his victory.
But, Hifumi’s body, which should be turned to the front, is turning sideways before Deumus noticed it. The spearhead passes by through empty air on the left side in the space between the arms
And, separating his left arm, Hifumi, holding the katana in his right hand, pinned down the side of the spearhead and faced Deumus directly.
“Pinning down the spear by holding it between your arm and body… How absurd…” (Deumus)
Piercing the abdomen through the gap in the armor, though blood was leaking out from his mouth, Deumus showed a face of astonishment rather than pain.
“At best you are able to push or pull before it snaps. There is no problem to get in-between that.” (Hifumi)
“What a guy…” (Deumus)
As Deumus crumbled down, Hifumi shook off the blood of his katana. The remaining knights, without knowing what would be the right thing to do, recklessly came rushing in as they wanted to at least kill the enemy in front of them.
“Too slow.” (Hifumi)
Even though there were eight knights left and although they wore proper armor, their throats were cut sequentially with a minimum of movement. One by one they dropped into the pool of blood they had produced themselves.
Changing all of the knights into corpses, Hifumi, returning the katana into its scabbard and inhaling the smell of blood, laughed.
“That was fun.” (Hifumi)
Let’s go looking for fellows who show some kind of reaction. Hifumi had taken a liking to this world albeit only slightly.