T/N: Usually I use Notepad to write down the text and Translation Aggregator to give me the romaji. This time I directly used the Translation Aggregator’s function to translate line by line. Not sure which of either I like. Notepad has auto-word completion and is easier on the eyes but means a lot of tabbing, whereas Translation Aggregator has spell checking and means a lot less tabbing but is hard on they eyes … hmmm … which to choose … I am still considering. Feel free to comment on it. Well that’s the reason for the different format this time.
The messenger, dispatched by Biron, used a horse although he donned the appearance of an ordinary citizen. Burdened with a bundle of valuable seasonings, he has been ordered to say he is a merchant if something were to happen.
As he met nobles, knights and soldiers, without knowing whether they belong to the prince or princess faction, he wasn’t able to request their protection. Even if he saw a soldier or a knight, he ignored them. He was given detailed instructions to appeal directly to Hifumi of Fokalore anyway.
「What’s your purpose in coming from the capital?」
「It’s on the way since I want to go until Fokalore to sell the spices.」 (Messenger)
Even if the coming and going to the current capital hasn’t been restricted yet, inspections, doing check ups similar to the ones at the national border, have been set up. The knights of the Third Knight Unit being in charge of that, looked out for the movements of the other knight units.
「Hee, is this something that has been ordered?」 (Sabnak )
Sabnak poked his nose into this affair from behind the asking female knight.
The messenger had his breath taken away for an instant due to the meddling questioning, but he recalled the details of the instructions he had received from Biron.
「Yes, it is an order from the Lord of Fokalore, Tohno-sama, I received through a company in the capital…」 (Messenger)
「That’s a lie.」 (Sabnak)
「Hifumi-san isn’t this fussy over his meals. Since the time he arrived at the capital he used nothing but food carts with the exceptions of his inn, the slave shop and the weapons dealer. He hasn’t ordered anything like spices. OK, restrain him.」 (Sabnak)
Upon Sabnak’s words, the surrounding soldiers quickly restraint the messenger by tying him up.
「W-Why… ?」 (Messenger)
「Probably there is no one who knows Hifumi-san as well as us, the Third Knight Unit… excluding Origa-san.」 (Sabnak)
“Bad luck,” Sabnak laughs. The messenger decided to try betting on the other party, called Third Knight Unit, rather than wasting time and lets himself get restrained. Considering the main goal or Biron, he judged this to be the best he could do currently even if he were to be punished later on.
The messenger lets Sabnak see the letter directed at Hifumi-san situated in his breast pocket that explained the progress of the battle at Münster.
Sabnak, having confirmed the signature of Biron on the letter, released the restraints of the messenger and told him to immediately go to the royal castle.
In Fokalore the civil officials currently were in the middle of their hectic work close to feeling faint whereas the officers and soldiers had free time. The adventurers are plenty in dealing with the monsters without it even being any significant combat. Even in Arosel, where Hifumi had decreased the number of adventurers by killing some, there doesn’t seem to be any problem in regards to the numbers as some of the adventurers have moved over from Fokalore.
As a result, while the territorial army’s soldiers are practicing in turns, the group of forces, Hifumi had coached, are debating about this and that. The weapons, invented by Hifumi in cooperation with the dwarf Pruflas, are undertaking tests.
The civil officials are preparing to educate the civil official candidates from the new territories and are making a new family register of the territory’s population.The increased number of staff members and soldiers are helping out. Not a single person has time.
Even the impudent Caim, with his usual facial expression, has increased his normal walking speed by two times. Since it became difficult for him to call out to the too many staff members, their reports are concentrated at Brokra, who assumed responsibility instead. But even he is on the verge of bursting.
Miyukare has also summoned the vacating army forces as assistance, getting them engaged in work. Right then, Alyssa, who should be training together with the territorial troops outside the city, came running.
「Alyssa-sama, although you are as lovely as ever, what has happened?」 (Miyukare)
As Miyukare welcomed her with her best smile, Caim, who happened to pass by, approached as well.
「Put more effort into concealing your desire a bit better. Director of Military Affairs-sama, is there some emergency?」 (Caim)
「Ah, un, the central committee of Vichy? or called something like that, a person has told me they came from there. Have them wait at the waiting room on the first floor, but…」 (Alyssa)
Alyssa, not quite informed about the system in Vichy, didn’t understand well the thing called central committee either. Being called out at the place, where people line up in front of the gate, she brought him along without comprehending what would be good.
「Even though there was no contact from the national border… Understood. Please leave it to us since Miyukare and I will deal with it.」 (Caim)
「That’s a…」 (Miyukare)
「Un, please take care of it.」 (Alyssa)
Miyukare, being dragged into it, reached out her hand towards the running-away Alyssa in vain.
「Ah, despite me looking forward to observe her from the shadows after reaching a point where I can take a break from work…」 (Miyukare)
「If you have this kind of free time, then please do your work. Since I am arranging for inns close to the mansion, you will explain the Lord’s absence. If they want to stay, lead them to an inn. If they want to go back, ask them about the reason of their visit, please.」 (Caim)
Murmuring ‘Unlike you , I need some warmth,’ towards the back of Caim, who put an end to his instructions by quickly leaving, Miyukare went towards the location of the first floor. A single soldier came around.
「Miyukare-san, there is a message from the national border. A messenger is heading towards here from Vichy…」 (Soldier)
「I heard that already. He hails from the central committee. We have him waiting on the first floor.」 (Miyukare)
「Huh? It’s the personal messenger of a person called Minoson, being one of the central committee. We are currently having him waiting for further instructions at the entrance of the city…」 (Soldier)
Miyukare was at her wit’s end due to the words of the soldier.
「Don’t bring Vichy’s internal troubles over here… For now I have to inform them about the Lord’s current absence. If the messenger intends to wait, have him stay at an inn close to the gate.」 (Miyukare)
‘This will be hopeless, if Hifumi doesn’t come back soon’, Miyukare thought.
「Let’s start by greeting them.」 (Miyukare)
At any rate, until Hifumi’s makes his decision, the messengers will only bump heads, if they aren’t kept in check. She decided to discuss this matter at the meeting with the other civil officials.
Until now Imeraria restrained herself from excessively using the deceased king and the next-to-be king as political arguments. But it had reached the point where she made use of them in the coronation announcement the other day. Although it had been a recommendation from the prime minister, she decided beforehand to strengthen her own foundation for the sake of protecting her younger brother. She considered this to be a necessary step.
Without sitting on the throne as one would expect, Imeraria stood in front of the kneeling Sabnak and the messenger from Biron. With Sabnak in front, the messenger was in a place of having moved back a bit as he was someone with a different social status.
「Then you are saying that the Second Knight Unit and the territorial army of Earl Biron are in a dangerous predicament?」 (Imeraria)
Due to the report of the messenger, who had been allowed to speak directly to her, Imeraria frowned. With the war on Vichy’s side not having yet finished either, it was an information she didn’t really want to hear about.
「At the time of my departure the city still hadn’t been directly attacked. But, observing the losses of the Second Knight Unit and judging the danger to be imminent, Earl Biron chose me to request for reinforcements as messenger.」 (Messenger)
「Why is it that this request hasn’t been sent towards the royal castle but instead towards Earl Hifumi?」 (Imeraria)
The messenger, with a face full of sweat, hesitated to answer Imeraria’s question. If he answered poorly, rather than him being the cause, it would be taken as if Earl Biron was making light of the royal family. A reason, along the lines of ‘the territory is close thus they are in the same dilemma’, can’t be used.
As the messenger wasn’t able to say anything, Sabnak threw him a life line.
「Imeraria-sama, isn’t this the result of Earl Biron avoiding to be dragged into the chaos at the royal castle?」 (Sabnak)
The messenger wondered whether it was fine to say this, but he had no longer any other choice but to remain silent.
「With all due respect, including my Knight Unit, the people, concerned with the royal castle, have been divided into princess faction and prince faction. There was a strife over influence behind the scenes because Imeraria-sama’s declaration from before. Given that Earl Biron’s standing in this situation was still pending, it would come to him having to rely on either faction for even talking to anyone within the castle.」 (Sabnak)
「So how did this talk resulted in flowing to Hifumi-sama?」 (Imeraria)
「Most likely Earl Biron chose this method in order to support Imeraria-sama. But the news of Imeraria-sama’s announcement a few days ago and the prolapse with the First Knight Unit shouldn’t have circulated to the Biron earldom as of yet. Therefore, avoiding to contact the royal castle, entangled in its factions, he selected to directly appeal towards Hifumi-san, who is reputed to be the head of the princess faction and also can be called the strongest internal war potential currently.」 (Sabnak)
「I see… It seems that Sabnak-san is well aware of Earl Biron’s circumstances.」 (Imeraria)
「Since his family is the one my elder sister has married into, I am grasping the circumstances of the Biron earldom to a certain extent.」 (Sabnak)
On that subject, Imeraria recalled that she met the wife of Earl Biron very long ago. In those days Sabnak hasn’t become a knight yet. She was a woman who gave her a lovely impression as she even seriously talked to the other party, who was a lot younger than herself.
「Sabnak-san. Immediately lead the soldiers… though I considered this, it won’t do, if you don’t help with the management of Hifumi-sama’s territory.」 (Imeraria)
「Yes. I have planned to leave the capital any time now.」 (Sabnak)
‘Since my brother-in-law is in danger, I really want to take her up on this’, perspired within Sabnak’s mind.
Because she heard from Pajou about Sabnak’s popularity, Imeraria brooded over her wish to fix him as the core of the Third Knight Unit by raising some accomplishments if possible.
「… Which reminds me, there was a woman within the Third Knight Unit who owned a peculiar personal history.」 (Imeraria)
Imeraria suddenly remembered the situation of a single knight, but she couldn’t recall her name.
「Is this about Phyrinion?」 (Sabnak) (T/N: フィリニオン or Fuirinion」
「Yes, though I haven’t met her yet, she contributed to the administration of a territory with her father’s help since her youth. Following the wish of her father, Viscount Amazerto, she even became a knight, but originally her ability as civil official is excellent. Let’s entrust this task to her.」 (Imeraria)
「I said to leave the assistance in managing Hifumi-sama’s territory to her. Please gather the soldiers and head right away towards Münster, Sabnak, since I will explain things to Phyrinion.」 (Imeraria)
Imeraria told the baffled Sabnak flatly.
「It doesn’t matter. I will give Phyrinion-san a letter explaining the reasons… Rather than the matters of the territory, they will be more interested in the information about the battlefield. Messenger of Biron earldom.」 (Imeraria)
「Ha ha」 (Messenger)
「As for your duty entrusted to you by Earl Biron, you will accompany Phyrinion and that chamberlain. I’m sorry that it will take some time.」 (Imeraria)
The messenger was completely charmed by her lovely smiling face and bowed in a panic.
「Far from it! I am very grateful for receiving your words of consideration towards a single soldier like me!」 (Messenger)
(The smile of Imeraria-sama has an effect as he has no immunity to it.) (Sabnak)
While holding such thoughts, Sabnak had complicated mental state as to whether he should feel relieved of his burden, feel a bit lonely or even be delighted to have been given a chance to play an active role as a knight.
「… So?」 (Hifumi)
After Hifumi, who came back to Fokalore, hears the explanation of Miyukare and Caim, who immediately came entering his office, he grumbled as if it was a bother.
「Most likely the central committee of Vichy is beginning to break up. The person calling himself Minoson is an old-timer within the central committee as well. It seems that the city, where he is working as representative, is the one most distant from Orsongrande.」 (Miyukare)
Hifumi pondered while placing his hand on his chin.
‘What to do to cause the greatest chaos? Should the war become more violent? Or should the scale of the chaos be increased?
After thinking for a few seconds, Hifumi gives his directions.
「Gather everyone from both sides, the messengers as well as those accompanying them. I will talk to them directly.」 (Hifumi)
「What are you planning to do?」 (Caim)
「Merely some harmonious chatting.」 (Hifumi)
Seeing Hifumi easily answering Caim’s question, Miyukare judged it to be a definite lie.
The conference room has become jam-packed when everyone entered as there is a large number of people.
Accordingly it has become a small glaring contest between the messengers from Minoson and the messengers from the central committee.
「Good grief, what is Representative Minoson thinking?」
「We can’t consider this as anything but slighting the committee.」
People, who have a status to some degree, have come. As the two fat men are quarreling with each other, their armed guards are taking an imposing stance.
Incidentally they haven’t been disarmed even though they have entered the Lord’s mansion. The ostensible reason of saying it is because they are dropping in for a short visit as adventurers is used here, but in reality, because of Hifumi’s words “If you want to act violently, then that’s how it is,” a fixed amount of guards has been stationed on each floor for protecting the staff members.
Swiftly opening the door, Hifumi silently entered and sat down on the chair at the head of the table. Origa was standing at his back.
「And, what is your guy’s wish?」 (Hifumi)
Suddenly inquiring about the real issue at hand, the messengers faltered for a moment, but the messenger from the committee, wiping his sweat, began to speak.
「I-It’s concerning the current war. We want to hold peace negotiations…」 (Messenger C)
「Tell this to Imeraria. I don’t care.」 (Hifumi)
「We-Well then, regarding a temporary ceasefire.」 (Messenger C)
「Therefore-」 (Messenger C)
Hifumi glared at the messenger with his mouth crooked in the shape of へ.
「Such bothersome discussion is the job of the royal castle. Do not bring every single matter to me. I won’t accept any peace or discussions. However, if you are looking for a fight, you will get one. That person is?」 (Hifumi)
The shoulders of the messenger from Minoson shook as the gaze of Hifumi, whose displeasure is at the peak, turns towards him.
He takes out a letter while trembling with fear. He passes it to Hifumi through Origa.
「I have been entrusted with this letter by our representative who implored me to deliver it. If it’s alright with you, I wish to receive your reply, but…」 (Messenger M)
Hifumi scanned the letter and looked at Minoson’s messenger laughing smugly.
Without being aware of the contents of the letter himself, it was impossible for the messenger to understand Hifumi’s reaction, but he was relieved that Hifumi at least seemed to be in a good mood.
「There is an interesting story written here. Let’s agree to the entirety of the story. Since I am going to convey the contents to the royal castle, it will also result in being approved by the country and not only me.」 (Hifumi)
「T-Then…」 (Messenger M)
「Tell Minoson that he won’t regret the cooperation, if this story is the truth.」 (Hifumi)
「U-Understood!」 (Messenger M)
Hifumi told the messenger, who was leaving in order to quickly return and convey Hifumi’s reply, that it would be fine to use the rail cars for movement until the national border. As the talks had ended, Hifumi decided to exit the room.
「P-Please wait! What the heck has Minoson…」 (Messenger C)
Even the messengers from the committee, standing up with such a force that the chairs were knocked over, felt uneasy about the details that caused Hifumi’s sudden change.
「Ah, the city Minoson represents, eーto….」 (Hifumi)
「It’s Pursang」 (Messenger C) (T/N: ピュルサン or Pyurusan)
「That place. Since Pursang and the surrounding villages have become an independent nation defecting from Vichy, they apparently want me to recognize them.」 (Hifumi)
「Wh-What a…」 (Messenger C)
“This is a betrayal. We have to notify the central government at once!” “No, first we should head towards Orsongrande’s royal castle!” The messengers were disputing. Hifumi bluntly told them in a freezing tone,
「W-What is it?」 (Messenger C)
「This is my residence. You are free to return or go forward, but since my business with you has finished, get the hell out of here right away.」 (Hifumi)
「Understood, since we will immediately leave, please, concerning the peace negotiations…」 (Messenger C)
「I told you that I don’t care.」 (Hifumi)
He snorts in ill-humor.
「If you are an enemy, I will kill you. That’s all.」 (Hifumi)
Watching Hifumi leaving without stopping this time no matter what they even say, the messengers dejectedly returned to their inn.
…that no one was killed!!!