While the female knight Phyrinion was advancing along the highway on horse, she pouted in dissatisfaction.
“Why? Is it absolutely necessary for me to go to such remote district such as Fokalore?” (Phyrinion)
The clothes and food was placed in a small carriage that is following her in the back. Earl Biron’s messenger, who was on guard duty at the time of camping, is sleeping within the carriage. Krinola (T/N: >> kurinora <<), that has come along as Phyrinion’s maid from her parent’s home, acted as coachman.
“Fokalore isn’t at the end of the nation any more, ojou-sama.” (Krinola)
Phyrinion sighed as Krinola, being a few years younger than the 18-years old Phyrinion, innocently tsukkomi‘d.
“I know about that too! But it’s strange. Something like deploying a member of a knight unit to help a feudal lord. Moreover, is this really Sabnak’s duty?” (Phyrinion)
While her green tender hair sways in the wind, Phyrinion can’t stop to complain.
“However, rather than doing such dangerous work such as being a knight, the way of taking care of the territorial administration of a city is a relief for me as well. It has become a rumor in the city that the war has already ended, too. They say, the Lord-sama of Fokalore, where we are currently heading towards, has played an active role to influence this or something like that.” (Krinola)
Is she happy that Phyrinion left the workplace where she would very likely be involved in a battle? Krinola has been continuously in a good mood since hearing about the matter of being transferred.
“… It’s a blessing, if you don’t know about it, right?” (Phyrinion)
Phyrinion, who is affiliated with the Third Knight Order, is naturally aware of the person called Hifumi. As she slipped into the masses at the succession announcement of the princess just like Sabnak, she has also seen the face of the person himself.
“Although his face is slightly immature, he is well-equipped. But his contents…” (Phyrinion)
Recalling Hifumi’s face she saw from far away, she remembered the personal history she read in the subsequent report.
“Ojou-sama, what’s wrong?” (Krinola)
“Nothing. How far is it until Fokalore?” (Phyrinion)
“We have already entered the Tohno territory. We will arrive tomorrow.” (Krinola)
“… Oh?” (Phyrinion)
While conversing with each other, Phyrinion’s view is observing the highway ahead. Something is approaching while rising a cloud of dust was in sight.
“Krinola, get the carriage off the highway! Something unknown is approaching us with great speed.” (Phyrinion)
Krinola, steering with the reins, immediately moves the carriage away from the highway. Biron’s messenger also jumped up to his feet with the carriage hitting the bumps on the ground.
“Did something happen?” (Messenger)
During the time when Krinola is explaining the situation, Phyrinion leaves the highway as well.
“What’s going on? Good grief…” (Phyrinion)
Drawing her sword for caution’s sake, Phyrinion, who dismounts her horse and waits besides the carriage, wiped the sweat, that drenched her palm, with a cloth.
Frankly, I have no confidence in my swordsmanship. Admiring female knights, she practiced enthusiastically for a period of time, but it was no good after she realized the fun of territorial administration. Because she was placed in the knight unit by her father for interfering with the administration too much, she restarted her training more or less, but in terms of skills she was at the lowest ranks amongst the knight unit.
“I hope it isn’t the kind of monsters and bandits…” (Phyrinion)
But, her hope has been betrayed two-fold.
Soon the true identity of the approaching cloud of dust was visible. It was a large monster of the wild boar type. It is a type of monster that can be seen in near places such as forests, but its size is close to three meters. Even for adventurers, whose strong point is to subjugate monsters, it will be a harsh game, if they don’t hunt it with an appropriate number of people.
And then there are people who are chasing that large monster.
A trio who boarded something like some wagon. Two of them are operating some kind of lever. The last is preparing some bow that is fixated on the wagon. All of them are wearing a simple armor somehow similar to the uniforms of soldiers.
“Fool! It’s too fast!”
“Scary! Scary! Scary!”
While unanimously yelling, they fired something like a spear urging the monster forward. With a dull sound it pierced the butt of the monster.
As the monster fell over with a great force raising a roar, the wagon crashed into it at high-speed. The three are scattered and blown off the wagon rolling over the monster.
Feeling uneasy whether this has ended safely, Phyrinion and Biron’s messenger approach the crash site leaving Krinola at the carriage.
The monster had its neck broken at the moment it fell. It was 100% dead.
After they confirmed that there aren’t any other monsters, as they try to examine the state of the collapsed three, all of them are standing up unsteadily.
“A-Are you alright… or?” (Phyrinion)
As she asks one of them nervously, the soldier-like man bowed his head while being embarrassed.
“Ah, I’m sorry for frightening you.”
“N-No… if you are fine, all’s well.” (Phyrinion)
The remaining two also get up. Seeing the shattered wagon, they are at their wit’s end and say 「We will be scolded~」.
“I am Phyrinion belonging to Orsongrande’s Third Knight Unit. I wonder to whom you soldiers are affiliated. You are surprisingly sturdy. You boarded a strange vehicle there.” (Phyrinion)
“Oh, what an honor, you were a knight-sama?! We aren’t this injured. We have acquired a technique called ukemi. And it has become something indispensable for our intense training we receive everyday.” (T/N: If I remember correctly, ukemi is from Judo. It is a technique to allow you to fall safely when thrown)
Phyrinion raises her vigilance due to the word she has heard for the first time. By some chance they might be people from a foreign country.
While pondering about this, the other two soldiers came close and bowed to Phyrinion’s group.
“We are deeply sorry to have caused you anxiety. As we prepared a camping site further down the highway from here, we chased the monster in order to get some food.”
“That is fine, but what’s your affiliation?” (Phyrinion)
The three men show a shy, embarrassed grin. They don’t have the boorishness like other soldiers I have seen. They somehow feel gentle.
“Ah, please forgive us our impoliteness! We are territorial soldiers belonging to the territorial army of the Tohno territory.”
(They are…) (Phyrinion)
They were quite different from the image she had about the small army force that defeated a large army. Phyrinion became very anxious due to the objectionable aspects of the soldiers as she thought them to be frivolous people.
“Slightly away on horses from here on was our camp. Given that we are returning in order to report to Lord Hifumi-sama, how about travelling with us if that’s alright with you? We have troubled you because of Lord Hifumi-sama apparently saying that he wants to make bear stew, as an apology…”
“Hifumi-sama is there?” (Messenger)
Bending himself forward in curiosity, it is Biron’s messenger who interrupts the soldier.
It seems that I will meet him faster than I expected, Phyrinion pulled herself together.
Except for the details Hifumi told the messengers from the central committee, there was something important written in the letter from Minoson, who is the representative of Pursang, the single metropolis of Vichy.
“It looks like Beirevra has fled from Vichy. So, according to the extent of Minoson’s investigation, it appears as if he is most likely planning to head towards Horant, escaping Orsongrande by once again pretending to be a merchant.” (Hifumi)
Listening to Hifumi’s explanation, Origa paused for a little while and then opened her mouth.
“Are we able to trust this information?” (Origa)
“Who knows.” (Hifumi)
Picking up the letter Hifumi threw away, Origa carefully scanned its contents.
“Soon there will be confusion in Vichy as effect of Pursang’s independence. Even though it will also be fine to attack then, it seems too obvious that Minoson considers it to be possible with ease. I don’t like that at all.” (Hifumi)
“With ease… probably it won’t?” (Origa)
“Originally it would become “Pursang vs. the rest of Vichy.” If it turns out that quite a part of Vichy has to face Orsongrande in war, the enemies will decrease for them accordingly, right?” (Hifumi)
“I see.” (Origa)
“Let’s leave Vichy alone for a while”, is what Hifumi said.
“It looks to me that it will be enjoyable, if we let their state become a little more complicated by being mixed up.” (Hifumi)
While pouring tea into the cup again and placing it in front of Hifumi, Origa looked at him in expectation.
“We will go to Horant. Since I am also bothered over the magic tool case. It looks like they have been getting reading secretly behind the scenes, so there will likely be some reaction.” (Hifumi)
Within Origa it had taken the form of Hifumi especially heading towards Horant for the sake of Origa’s revenge. Furthermore she is hoping for them both to be able to travel together again.
“With Alyssa… as she has waited for a long time now. While we are at it, we should also take some troops along on the expedition, huh? I am planning to test various tools we built as well.” (Hifumi)
Ignoring Origa, who was disappointed that it wouldn’t be just the two of them, Hifumi immediately left for the sake of having Pruflas prepare the necessary things.
“At any rate…” (Origa)
Origa, remaining in the room by herself, looked at the documents on top of the desk.
“Beirevra… get ready. I will kill you without fail.” (Origa)
Her words of determination resounded within the silent room.
Thus, leading 30 territorial soldiers, Hifumi’s group once again departed heading in the direction of the capital.
At the time when Ribezal arrived at Münster, Münster was still standing strong, but there weren’t any people to be found roaming within the city. It matched a situation you ought to call a state of high alert.
“What’s this? What is the Second Knight Unit doing?” (Ribezal)
He has never predicted that it would practically become a battle with Horant. He believed it would end with both sides glaring at each other. It was completely unforeseeable for Ribezal that a battle would take place to the degree that it would influence the residents of the city.
“Oh my, after the Second, now the First? This place is completely similar the royal castle now.” (Biron)
Biron, who welcomed Ribezal in his mansion, said while looking bored.
“What’s up with the situation in this city?” (Ribezal)
Sitting down on the sofa with a flump, Ribezal appeases his thirst with the black tea that was served.
“It seems that the Second Knight Unit can’t stop Horant’s soldiers. Somehow or other they are strengthened by a strange magic tool or something like that.” (Biron)
“Magic tool, you say?!” (Ribezal)
Ribezal was grinding his teeth due to his own plan going astray as the battle progress at the national border to Horant was in a predicament beyond his imagination. He should return to the royal castle to rally troops under the prince’s banner, but the crucial war potential has been reduced.
“And? Where is the Second Knight Unit?” (Ribezal)
“They are quartering in a village close to the border. It appears that they aren’t pleased with me requesting reinforcements from the Tohno earldom.” (Biron)
Showing his white teeth, Biron laughs. “Excuse my discourtesy”, he says finishing his business.
“You say you have asked Hifumi for reinforcements? Why that man?” (Ribezal)
“Because he is strong. He has killed many enemies, protected the populace and defended his territory. It’s to the extent that I want to inquire about his secret as likewise territorial lord.” (Biron)
Disregarding Ribezal’s scowling look, Biron picked up a single baked sweet.
“Do you want one? The sweetness will calm your mind. Once it is necessary to make composed decisions, I am always making sure to prepare pastry.” (Biron)
Since he eats nothing but sweets being clogged up with work, he ends up getting laughed at and branded as child by his wife, Biron laughed and threw another one into his mouth.
“It’s unnecessary. Please excuse me for leaving now!” (Ribezal)
“Ah, please wait. Does your coming here mean that something happened at the royal castle?” (Biron)
Although he stiffened for an instant due to Biron’s question, Ribezal told him that he doesn’t know. He leaves while roughly opening and closing the door. Seeing him off, Biron entrusted his body to the chair with a large breath.
“Good grief! As expected of the First Knight Unit’s captain, he has a quite intimidating air.” (Biron)
By Biron’s estimation it has been decided that the Ribezal’s First Knight Unit will merge with the Second Knight Unit and head towards fighting against Horant. If they win, they will be able to push up the prince with a triumphal return. I guess the intend to press forward with pure strength up to the inheritance of the crown.
In case they lose, the enemy will turn up here.
“Should I also take the worst case into consideration… ?” (Biron)
While deciding on a policy, he looks up to the ceiling and rings a bell on his desk.
His butler came entering right away.
“You have called?” (Butler)
“Summon all of the commanding officers of the territorial army in the conference room. And prepare the materials necessary for battle then.” (Biron)
“… Certainly!” (Butler)
Without asking anything, the elder butler merely bowed his head.
“I entrust it to you. Anyway, I wonder if he has contacted the Tohno earldom safely? If he was fast, they should already be heading this way. Well, hope has to be placed as hope. It doesn’t influence what’s possible to be done.” (Biron)
It will become busy from here on out, Biron stood up and went towards the conference room.
The indignant Ribezal returned to the place outside the mansion where the First Knight Unit waited.
No one calls out to him seeing their captain’s displeased look.
Except just one person.
“Somehow or other, it looks like the magic tools of Horant have caused considerable damage.” (Beirevra)
In a state of having his hands tied behind his back, Beirevra laughs disgustingly.
Even as Ribezal glares at him, he doesn’t quit to talk.
“There are countermeasures. I can prepare the same thing if my people are still alive. If you enhance the soldiers with this…” (Beirevra)
Looking at Beirevra, Ribezal broods over it for a short while, but, ignoring Beirevra currently, he decided to prioritize the linking up with the Second Knight Unit.
“It seems the Second Knight Unit is now lining up at a village close to the border. The appear to have a somewhat hard time, but if we go to reinforce them, the enemy will be forced back right away!” (Ribezal)
“Yea!” with the knights raising their voices, they leave the city of Münster in a line.
Beirevra, who had been bound and is walking as is, is still laughing frivolously.
“Oh well, please tell me once it is necessary.” (Beirevra)
“Without even relying on someone like you, we have all chances to win, if we use our true strength as knight unit.” (Ribezal)
While saying this, somehow I couldn’t bring myself to hand over Beirevra to Earl Biron.
Earl Biron has already a tune as if he has decided to join the princess’ faction. If I handed over a person holding information about an enemy nation, it might end up being snatched away as achievement by that Hifumi.
“At any rate, you bastard won’t have a role to play.” (Ribezal) (T/N: Flag set)
No matter what it takes, I have to raise military gains with only the knight units belonging to the prince faction.
Ribezal was ruled by impatience.