“Civil official instructional education… you say?” (Representative)
In the room arranged for the purpose of training and meetings for the civil official slaves at the mansion of the Lord of Fokalore, the representatives of the cities, that had changed allegiance from Vichy to Orsongrande, gathered.
In front of their eyes the civil official slave Caim, with a sullen looking face, was continuing to explain indifferently. Next to him Brokra sat acting as a clerk.
“That’s right. The territorial principal Earl Tohno has said to gather from each city a selected few in order for them to receive the same education we received. They will be taught in general subjects and practical application. Ah, all of you gentlemen, the town mayors, who are participating at today’s assembly, please organize a gathering at each respective city after this and together with the civil official candidates, that will be elected, you will receive the same education alongside.” (Caim)
As they were summoned by a new influential person, the city representatives were scared within their mind whether their life would be in danger. They were relieved to hear that their own position would be preserved to a certain extent.
But, with the continuing words of Caim, whose facial expression didn’t change, that sense of security was blown away.
“By the way, if your grades are bad, you will be removed from your post without any useless discussions. Since we have prepared something like replacements of your posts in case you are lacking the ability for your duty, I’d like you to give me your acknowledgement in advance, please.” (Caim)
There is a considerable number amongst the representatives, who took over the post of representative by mere succession. Of course there are also some who managed their assignment properly, but likewise there are those who rested on their laurels coming with the status.
Seemingly having an idea, there were several amongst them drenched in sweat turning pale.
“Please stay in Fokalore for the duration of one month. You can be relieved because the representative proxies will dispatch personnel and soldiers for field work as well as recruitment during your time in Fokalore. We have prepared appropriate accommodations for you on our side. Please hand in an application beforehand, if you wish to stay in an inn of your choice. We will distribute the blank application form later.” (Caim)
While reading the written down notes, Caim spoke in a smooth and clear voice.
“Are there any inquiries up until this point?” (Caim)
“I wanted to take it home and examine it temporarily, but…” (Representative)
A single person, who became pale earlier during the talk about the grading, nervously made such proposal.
Hearing that question, Caim looks directly into they eyes of that man expressionlessly.
(Ah, this is bad.) (Brokra)
Brokra saw the occasions when Caim’s habit came out.
As the man says uncomfortably due to Caim’s motionless staring, Caim opened his mouth.
“In what way do you want to examine it? Currently I am telling you the Objective and Order from your feudal lord, who is also your Lord and my master. If you take it home, what will you examine there? Will you abide or reject it? In other words, you and your city have no other choice but to swear absolute allegiance towards not only Orsongrande but also Earl Tohno.” (Caim)
“I-It’s dif…” (Representative)
“I will fully convey this matter to Hifumi-sama. Although I don’t know in what kind of manner that gentleman will confirm your loyalty… I am well aware that if it was his words, you should be resolved for your city’s scale to decrease by around half.” (Caim)
As he is speaking of the details monotonously and boringly, not only the man he is looking at, but even the representatives in the surrounding are trembling in fear.
“Yo-You’ve misunderstood me! Please forgive my humble self!” (Representative)
“Misunderstanding, it is? I will use my privilege of properly record that you have no more than this level of situation perception ability. Naturally, it will be treated as primary factor for the minus points for the over-all judgement. And also, please do understand that from now on all of your interactions and actions hereafter will definitely be transmitted to us and we will pay attention to them.” (Caim)
Brokra threw a fleeting glance at Caim giving a profound proclamation while the man is bowing, almost about to rub his head on the floor. He knew this was also going to be his record.
“Everyone, I hope that you very carefully choose the words you use as well. Our intention is to have honest and open-minded interactions, but you won’t be forgiven if you decide to antagonize us. You are not permitted to obstruct the administration of the territory. And, although the new Lord you have chosen is very tolerant towards loyal subordinates, he is absolutely unforgiving towards his opponents. Please bear in mind that a single word can cause you to lose your life, and that is no exaggeration either.” (Caim)
There wasn’t a single person opening their mouth when Caim asked “Are there any other questions to be addressed?”
The Captain of the First Knight Unit is Ribezal (T/N: >> Ribezaru). He waited for Deumus, who went to kill Imeraria, in his personal office within the castle. Vice-Captain Rangul (T/N: >> Ranguru <<), matching Deumus in rank, waits on his side.
“So late…” (Ribezal)
It is only the assassination of a single girl who lives in a room inside the same castle. Even if Deumus had some reluctance and hesitation, the time, by when he should have finished it, had passed a long time ago.
What worries him even more is that the chamberlain couldn’t find the figure of the queen in her room when he went there. Even though they are currently searching for her, they haven’t found her yet.
“Maybe some kind problem is occurring?” (Rangul)
He considers it for a short while. Although around ten knights of the First Knight Unit are assigned for duty next, it will be fine for half of them going to check, I guess.
“Possibly. Take some people and go have a look.” (Ribezal)
Just when Rangul wanted to try to do something in reply, there is the sound of knocking.
“Did he come?” (Ribezal)
However, even as they are waiting, the door isn’t opening.
“What’s the matter?” (Rangul)
Approaching the door, in the moment Rangul’s hand grabbed the knob, a blade penetrated the wooden door. It pierced Rangul’s head.
Extracting the blade, a *byu*, indistinguishable whether voice or sound, could be heard. Rangul, trying to cling to the door, collapsed.
And then, Hifumi entered by destroying the door with a kick sending the door and the corpse of Rangul flying.
“It’s you, bastard… !” (Ribezal)
Ribezal is recognizing Hifumi’s face. He happened to be present during the audience when the king was killed.
“Although I came to see since I was certain there was a presence here, what room is this?” (Hifumi)
Surveying the room, Hifumi heedlessly asked.
“This is my, the First Knight Unit’s captain’s, room. Why are you here, bastard?” (Ribezal)
Holding a spear, he vigilantly sets up his stance facing Hifumi.
“It is a major cleanup. Things don’t progress too well, if there is too much noise.” (Hifumi)
“Don’t think it will be that easy!” (Ribezal)
Following Ribezal’s roar, two magicians jumped out from their hiding. With the same timing they shot a fireball.
“Oh, it is the first time I have seen fire users!” (Hifumi)
While saying those words in delight, Hifumi advanced forward and let the fireballs fly by.
Ribezal’s spear is thrust out at that place.
“It’s a nice thrust.” (Hifumi)
The spearhead grazed Hifumi’s shoulder and ripped up his dougi, but it hadn’t reached his body.
In correspondence, the katana was calmly swung horizontally as well. Ribezal swiftly drew back and the katana only cut air.
Ignoring another spear thrust, Hifumi leaped and chopped down one of the magicians.
“Don’t play with fire indoors. That’s thoughtless.” (Hifumi)
The magician, cut with a single stroke from the top of his shoulders, has died instantly.
As the other let loose a second fireball, Hifumi, turning around, cut the fireball in two.
“Oh, I took a chance and tested it and see there, I can slice it apart after all.” (Hifumi)
While wondering somewhat whether you can still call this a katana any more, he stabs the heart of the frightened magician.
The moment he brings down the blade sideways, avoiding getting it stuck in a bone, the spear approaches from the flank with an ideal timing.
While feeling reluctant to respond to the thrust, Hifumi fell over parting with the katana in his hand.
Furthermore, as Hifumi is tumbling on the rolling over again and again, Ribezal assaults him with the spear.
Hifumi, who quickly rose to a crouch on his knee, grabbed the spear and drove its pummel into the abdomen of Ribezal in reverse.
Letting go of his spear, Ribezal collapses.
When he rises quickly to his feet in spite of coughing violently, Hifumi is wielding his spear in front of his eyes.
“It is a nice spear. The balance is great and its weight is just right as well.” (Hifumi)
Having his personal spear thrust at him, Ribezal backs off.
“Do you kill unarmed opponents?” (Ribezal)
“What are you saying?” (Hifumi)
Just as Hifumi spoke in astonishment, several knights rushed into the room.
“The noise from just now!” (Knight A)
“Are you safe, Captain?” (Knight B)
Although the knights were taken aback the second they saw the Vice-Captain’s corpse and Hifumi holding the spear, they immediately set up and confronted Hifumi. You could say, as one would have predicted.
“You bastard, what are you doing here?!” (Knight C)
Without replying, after Hifumi spun the spear and determinedly knocked the jaw of Ribezal with the pummel making him fall over, he struck the leading knight’s eyes, throat and both feet, the four places with no armor, in a flash.
Even as the knight died, gushing forth blood from his entire body, the surrounding knights didn’t understand what had happened. Moreover, Hifumi even ran the spearhead into the knight’s throat, standing cross-ways, and cut it open.
“Why are you standing around doing nothing? Since you were taught you how to use a spear, get over here quickly.” (Hifumi)
Losing their temper, the knights thrust their spears with all their strength. While skilfully averting the united spearheads, one after another is falling down spurting blood out.
“There aren’t only thrusts in the spear art!!” (Hifumi)
Closing in onto his opponent while repelling a single stab, Hifumi rams the pummel into his opponent’s foot as he pushes his shoulder toppling him over. Rotating the spear, Hifumi reaps through his neck.
Moreover, as the next opponent attacks, Hifumi turns his spear, entangles the approaching weapon and disarms him. The opponent, being dumbfounded of having lost his weapon, died with a single lunge.
Within the unfolding blood-stained tragedy, Ribezal, whose jaw had been struck, shook off the twinkling stars in front of his eyes by swinging his head while he advanced to a corner of the room on unsteady feet.
As he presses his hand on one part of the wall, a hole, barely wide enough for a single person, opens. Ribezal crawled into it.
Though he feels the presence of Ribezal escaping, Hifumi brushes away the all the spears held at the ready of the First Knight Unit’s reinforcements that had come from somewhere while deciding Maa, it’s fine to ignore him. If the First Knight Unit and the prince link up as-is, it will save him the hassle of expressly calling them back if Ribezal reports the current situation.
If he rallies his colleagues of the First Knight Unit that aren’t here during his escape, the result will be that it will be split into: the princess faction, centering on the Third Knight Unit, will take a defending stance with the castle as base, if the numbers of the First Knight Unit are few, or the prince faction, centering on the First and Second Knight Unit, will have to start by capturing the base, if the numbers of the First Knight Unit are many.
If that’s how it turns out, they will make frantic efforts to fight with each other, I guess.
“Well now, it’s time to finish the cleaning soon, right?” (Hifumi)
As Hifumi motivated himself with a nice smile in a state of being soaked in the blood of his victims, the knights didn’t understand the reason and panicked.
Parting with one-third of the First Knight Unit’s personnel this night, half of the remaining people surrendered and swore allegiance to the princess faction and the other half chased after Ribezal who left the capital behind.
“With this, can’t you say that only the number of knights in the prince faction and the princess faction roughly balances out? If there aren’t many on the side attacking the castle, the balance will be bad.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi leaked out his dissatisfaction as it became the next day. No one except Origa approved.
Morning has come. The civil officials and nobles, who attended as they aren’t live-ins, were puzzled over the heavy mood within the castle.
Confirming to which Knight Unit each knight belongs without making a single exception, stretchers were carried in from a separate entrance one by one and something was carried out.
“Did something happen?” (Official)
A single female civil official, commuting to work, visited a knight doing inspections. The greeted knight, with darkly shadowed eyes, replied blankly,
“Just a little. They were killing each other during the night.” (Knight)
“Ah, it’s safe already. Lord Tohno finished it all.” (Knight)
“But, take care to not utter thoughtless things.” The knight warns her to pay attention since she could literally be beheaded.
Raising a sudden shriek after seeing a stretcher covered with a cloth over there, she could see the head of a person tumbling down at that place.
“A head…” (Official)
The civil official, who had become ghastly pale, tried to think one way or another about the reason for the confrontation. Being worked to death with the after-disposal of the mayhem, the knights are stuck with doing overtime within the castle, that had a smell of blood drifting all over.
“And, is Imeraria-sama safe?” (Official)
“Of course, she has the Knight-sama with the slender sword at her side, she hasn’t a single scratch.” (Knight)
While the civil official looks relieved and says “That’s good”, the knight added in his mind “At least not on her body.”
Getting through the overnight tragedy, Imeraria completes the organisation of Orsongrande. The main part of the nobles also move from the prince faction to the princess faction. Many of the nobles rushed, pretending to do courtesy calls, to visit Imeraria for the sake of pledging their allegiance to her.
Subduing the feeling of boredom, Imeraria handles the nobles coming to tell her that she can depend on them from now on. In her back Hifumi’s figure was visible brightly smiling in absolute satisfaction.
After several meetings with the nobles ended, Hifumi told her that he will leave the castle soon.
“The basic preparations have been completed. Do your best in forming your own future.” (Hifumi)
“… Where are you off to this time?” (Imeraria)
“I will go visit Vichy. After that… you will be the one deciding that, no? See ya.” (Hifumi)
After seeing off Hifumi’s group, she entrusts her back to the deep chair and shuts her eyes.
“It’s the real deal from here on out…” (Imeraria)
During the consultation with the prime minister, we have decided to hold the enthronement in the near future. The consequence will be that the news will be circulated to my brother, I guess. I wanted to lay the foundation as new queen, as official successor, before Prince Ayperos returns to the capital.
If I possess overwhelming authority, I will conversely be able to protect Ayperos, I hope, Imeraria is estimating. For the sake of that, I must avoid the quagmire of civil war.
“For that reason, I have to get strong myself first…” (Imeraria)
Thinking of the people who had died, Imeraria persuaded herself to apologize after everything ends. (T/N: *wonders whether there will be anyone left to apologize to, after everything ends*)