The new paragraph separator was added by author-sama. So let’s use that one instead of my usual one. ^^
Phyrinion saw women and men of all ages frantically studying at the Lord’s mansion in Fokalore while clinging to their desks.
They brought in a large amount of desks and chairs into one of the particularly large party halls within the Lord’s mansion. There you could find the city representatives, who changed their allegiance from Vichy to Orsongrande, as well as their civil official candidates. Furthermore there were the staff members expected to be employed by the Tohno territory, which held formal recruitments. All of them eagerly struggled hard to comprehend the details of the texts they were given, sometimes raising their hands to have the staff in charge explain it to them.
The civil officials serving the royal castle and the knight orders were simply employed by referral without having to do something like examinations. Therefore it was the first time Phyrinion witnessed such a sight and she couldn’t help but feel out-of-place here.
Next to her is Brokra, who has accompanied her as guiding civil official. Due to Caim being busy continuing the work at hand, he had been assigned as substitute in charge of looking after her.
“At the beginning, when we were purchased by Hifumi, we were told to study the subjects concerning the planned administration of the fief’s land. Since we were employed without minding our blood-lines and social ranks, they will succeed, if they are able to show that they understood the things they studied here by passing the employment examinations.” (Brokra)
“It has nothing to do with social status, so that means…” (Phyrinion)
“Yes, even orphans and former residents of the slums will be employed if they are capable to show their abilities after having been taught writing as applicants. If one doesn’t have confidence in learning, there is also the choice of entering the army. To begin with, aren’t our leading civil officials slaves?” (Brokra)
Brokra laughs smiling with his whole face.
“Now that you mention it…” (Phyrinion)
Phyrinion knew about the things they studied at the royal castle. She is even understanding the matters about Hifumi’s slaves. But, looking at the city’s state of affairs and the financial affairs, they are far superior than civil officials of other nobles, she is estimating.
“Please understand that our work is to manage the territory quite efficiently and to prepare an environment, where our Lord can take his liberties. I’d like you to comprehend this as well, Phyrinion.” (Brokra)
“Yes, I also intend to more or less grasp the situation concerning the Tohno earldom.” (Phyrinion)
“That would be great. Then, this way, please.” (Brokra)
Brokra invites Phyrinion to a place in the corner of the study hall with splendid desks prepared and only few others being there.
“Well, first memorize the contents of these documents, please. This is a document summarizing the fundamental management policies and tax systems of the fief’s territory and this is a report of the incomes and expenditures up until now.” (Brokra)
“Please freely use the parchment over here. If it isn’t sufficient, feel free to take some more from the stacked pile over there. It’s also possible to refill the ink there. Since it is Hifumi-sama’s policy to learn by writing, go ahead with memorizing by copying them, please.” (Brokra)
Sitting while gazing at it in shock, Brokra smiles gently as Phyrinion doesn’t know what would be good to say with the documents being stacked up rapidly in front of her eyes.
“Please do your best because I have been instructed by Hifumi-sama to have you return if you aren’t as capable as the other civil officials. Please call out to one of the staff members being alternately in charge of the venue at the moment you want to resign midway, okay?” (Brokra)
Brokra quickly left the dumbfounded Phyrinion as he has to attend to other work.
“… Krinola.” (Phyrinion)
“Yes, ojou-sama.” (Krinola)
Just as her, Krinola seemed to also be unable to follow the situation and was showing a face filled with surprise when Phyrinion called out to her.
“Please make some tea for me.” (Phyrinion)
“Understood. Because I have to go get hot water, um…” (Krinola)
“There is no other choice but to do it. If I run from here, I will become quite the laughingstock.” (Phyrinion)
Krinola bowed towards Phyrinion, who faced the prepared documents.
The Second Knight Order’s captain, Stiffels, remained alone in the troop’s assembly hall and considered the current situation.
After the First Knight Order’s captain, Ribezal, came intruding earlier and caused a suspension of the war council, the present state turned into a harmless and inoffensive situation of observing the movements of Horant closely.
“But, if Horant doesn’t make a move as it is…” (Stiffels)
According to the information brought by the First Knight Order the war in the Vichy area has more or less mostly calmed down. They are expecting that it will be possible to make quite the advantageous post-war agreements due to the complete victory of Orsongrande or rather by Hifumi’s activities and the Third Knight Order’s assistance.
If it’s like this, Horant’s army, who draws their justification from the cooperation with Vichy, will withdraw. Naturally the Second Knight Order will have to withdraw as well since they will lose their reason to be here.
As result, there won’t be any military gains either.
“If it stays like this, only that man and the princess will be able to obtain results. It will probably become difficult to gather support for the prince. It isn’t even funny that the nobles, waiting and seeing how the wind blows, have already started to change their loyalties to the princess’ faction…” (Stiffels)
No matter what it takes, I want to cause a concluded situation of “The Vichy area was settled by Hifumi’s great efforts” and “The Horant area was settled by the Second Knight Order’s great effort.” But, if Horant retreats slowly, Hifumi will show up here.
“All of them are just nuisances.” (Stiffels)
He agitates the sake while complaining.
At the time the alcohol scorched his throat, he suddenly hit on a good idea.
“Ah that’s how it is… There is no need to have only the Second Knight Order shoulder everything. Besides, the evaluation of recapturing is always higher than defending if it’s about accomplishments…” (Stiffels)
If he were in a calm state of mind, he might have considered other plans as well. If he had consulted with someone else, he might have come up with an even more simple strategy.
However his cornered mind steered the rudder onto an extreme course.
“Anyone there? Go and call the vice-captains!” (Stiffels)
Within Stiffels’ head scenes of himself being thanked by the populace and Earl Biron dying on the battlefield took shape.
“Yo! yo! I am the Viscount Kamoss household’s…” (Kamoss)
“Shut up!” (Hifumi)
Hifumi interrupted the introductory words of the young noble, clad in armor, by waving his hand.
“S-Shut up?!” (Kamoss)
“Make it clear whether you have some business with me or whether you are hindering me.” (Hifumi)
Currently Hifumi has gone ahead leaving the troops behind. With only Origa following him, he has ordered the troops to pursue after him leaving all command to Alyssa.
If he doesn’t hurry to Horant, the war will end.
The hurrying Hifumi isn’t even able to conceal his irritation towards the man, leading around 30 soldiers on the highway, who are now on alert.
“I-I am a person related to the Second Knight Order’s captain. The Horant area is the Second Knight Order’s stage! Although you are the princess’ favorite, don’t try to do something despicable as snatching the achievements of others. As far as I can see there is only the two of you heading there. Certainly you don’t believe that you will be able to push your way through by sheer force… Hey, w-wait… !” (Kamoss)
Hifumi, tired of the long speech, challenges Viscount Kamoss to battle by galloping on his horse.
Although the route was obstructed by the two confused guards on both sides of the viscount, Hifumi drew his katana and killed them in one go.
“Hi, Hii, why…” (Kamoss)
While glaring at the frightened viscount who was shedding tears, Hifumi cold-heartedly said over his shoulders,
“Because they were a hindrance.” (Hifumi)
Swinging down the katana faster than he finished to speak, he diagonally split open Viscount Kamoss’ face. While spilling blood and flesh, the corpse fell down from the horse. Both his hands are bent into a ridiculous direction without him even twitching anymore.
“S-Such a…” (Soldier)
The shocked soldiers, seeing how Hifumi killed the viscount without even a shred of hesitation, are furthermore assaulted by brutal wind blades.
With Origa having her right arm pointing towards them, further two, three people die being cut through in the same manner.
“If you want to survive, run. Escape by running. Those I manage to catch up with, will die. Simple, ain’t it?” (Hifumi)
“Now, let’s start”, as Hifumi said this, the soldiers discarded their weapons and started to run away.
“Origa, hurry up!” (Hifumi)
“Yes, I understood.” (Origa)
While putting several of the escapees to the sword by riding alongside the highway, Hifumi heads towards the battlefield.
(If I don’t hurry, my share of killing will decrease!) (Hifumi)
In a sense, even Hifumi became impatient.
“This way.” (Beirevra)
Secretly leaving the village, Ribezal was brought close to the border by Beirevra. A place with a steep cliff became visible.
“Isn’t there just a cliff here? At such location…” (Ribezal)
“Well, please watch.” (Beirevra)
As Beirevra wheezed with a short whistle, one part of the cliff moved and a single magician came out from within. He wore a fine dark blue robe. His face couldn’t be seen as it was concealed by the hood.
“As I pondered who it might be, Beirevra, huh?” (Magician)
Ribezal unintentionally relaxes his mind due to the unexpectedly young voice of the magician. Most likely his social rank isn’t that high, I guess.
“Aye, going by the report previously dispatched, Vichy has absolutely no chance at winning by now. As soon as they were defeated, they escaped…” (Beirevra)
Beirevra bows his head repeatedly.
“So, that man is…” (Magician)
“He seems to be the First Knight Order’s captain, Ribezal.” (Beirevra)
“Are you someone from Horant? The talks concerning the magic tools… oof?!” (Ribezal)
Ribezal stepped up brushing Beirevra aside. He began to talk to the magician, but was unable to continue his word till the end.
With Beirevra grasping a magic tool in his hands, his consciousness faded away.
“Beirevra, why didn’t you make him faint from the beginning?” (Magician)
“Please forgive me. I simply wouldn’t have been able to carry an adult clad in armor up to here. Also, if I carried this man within the village, I would be arrested without a doubt.” (Beirevra)
Smiling bitterly, Beirevra bound Ribezal’s hands and surveyed the vicinity.
“By the way, are the others done?” (Magician)
“Currently all of them have left for another matter. Leaving that aside, as long as you accept me in Horant, I will also obey your next order.” (Beirevra)
The magician passed the decree by throwing it on the ground. It was containing a plan of invading Münster by using Ribezal as puppet caused by the effect of the magic tool.
“Of course, now that you picked it up, you are to show your utmost effort in serving Horant.” (Magician)
“… Well, fine. If I betray you, you will simply kill me. Apart from that, I want to finish installing the magic tool before this guy wakes up. Let’s strip off the armor.” (Beirevra)
Rolling the fainted Ribezal over so that he faced upwards, Beirevra skilfully removed the armour while the magician took out a magic tool from within his pocket.
It resembled the magic tool that was used by the rampaging person, who Hifumi killed, quite a lot.
“Is this the aforementioned improved version… ?” (Beirevra)
“Ah, if you use this, it will strengthen the body. He will become a puppet devoid of any human emotions. We already brought the drawback of going on a rampage under control. If you smear this magic tool in blood beforehand, he will listen to what the owner of that blood says.” (Magician)
“That’s amazing.” (Beirevra)
“Spread your blood on it. Only the two of us, you and me, will be able to use this guy.” (Magician)
Receiving a knife and the magic tool, Beirevra was bewildered.
“Is that really alright?” (Beirevra)
“Accomplish the plan by returning to Münster with this guy. I will be the guardian.” (Magician)
In the end Ribzal didn’t wake up until the magic tool was attached.
“Put your name under the document, right away.” (Hifumi)
“What are you talking about after suddenly turning up here?” (Imeraria)
Hifumi, who dropped by at the royal castle for a short visit en route to Münster, visited Imeraria’s office without any kind of tact.
And, entering the room, the only words he uttered were an order.
“We received attacks by soldiers dispatched from nobles of the prince faction 4 times from Fokalore to here. Furthermore it was only weak scum.” (Hifumi)
“Such a degree, it doesn’t sound like significant hindrance to deal with for someone like Hifumi.” (Imeraria)
“It’s troublesome since they only come out in small numbers. I can’t even feel good killing all of them.” (Hifumi)
“That’s how it usually is. So, what kind of document are you asking me to draw up?” (Imeraria)
Imeraria, resigning herself, advanced the subject of the complaining Hifumi, with whom she couldn’t sympathize at all.
“Propagate that you have decided to hold your coronation once Horan’t side has calmed down. Make a large quantity of letters aimed at the nobles. Tell them to come to the castle and demonstrate their feelings of allegiance.” (Hifumi)
“Why are you in such a hurry? Furthermore, if I do such thing, won’t there be an unnecessary increase in people hindering Hifumi-sama?” (Imeraria)
“Have the nobles, who are already attached to you, sign it. It’s also fine if you use my name. Also write that their territories will be confiscated, if they don’t approve. In case they still refuse, it will be easy to crush them as we would be able to distinguish by where they are from. And, it will also be good, if you put in that your younger brother steps back from the center stage of politics due to sickness.” (Hifumi)
“… Understood, if that kid understands and steps back because of that, that kid’s life will be…” (Imeraria)
Imeraria turns her eyes towards Hifumi, who tries to leave having said all that he had to say, as if cling onto him.
“As he is your brother, let’s pray that he isn’t that much of a fool.” (Hifumi)
The maid entered carrying the black tea crossing paths with the leaving Hifumi.
“I’m very sorry. The black tea wasn’t in time.” (Maid)
Turning towards the bowing maid, Imeraria, with a worn-out smile, told the maid that she wanted only her own share and asked her that she wanted her to come back.
“I will write letters from now on. Since I want to request some of the knights to carry them, would you please summon them?” (Imeraria)
Devoting all her might to the words, Imeraria is planning to write a letter to her younger brother. There should be no way for him to not comprehend his own position since that kid also received education as royalty, she believes.