Chapter 55 – By Myself

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“Whhhaaaat did you say!” (Stiffels)

As they are steadily getting closer to Münster’s gate, before Stiffels’ eyes the large front gate is left open allowing anyone to see quite well into the city.
And in there are no people at all, not outside the gate, not inside and not even on the streets of the city.
The first to realize this was Stiffels who was at the head of the troops.
Following after him, the knights noticed the abnormality of the city as well.

“C-Captain!” (Knight)

“What will we do now!?” (Knight)

They are pressed with intense force by the soldiers from Horant from the back. As it is a serious looking mass urging closer with their weapons in their hands, Stiffels appeared to be even more frightened.
Stiffels takes the situation into consideration.
It is a bad move to step into the city as it is now. If the city falls into ruin, it will become difficult to disprove it being my blunder. Even if we turned away from here, it wouldn’t be possible to disregard the damages.
If it’s like that…

“All soldiers, as soon as we finally reach the city, we will divide to the left and right and pincer attack the enemy, just as planned! During the pincer operation we will use the gate to confine the enemy!” (Stiffels)

“U-Understood!” (Soldiers)

While he is explaining, the city gate draws nearer.
Commanding the soldiers, the knights following their duty, split up left and right accompanied by the soldiers.
A few of Horant’s soldiers are lured by that and follow them, but the great majority advances directly towards Münster.

“Close it! Hurry!” (Stiffels)

Stiffels shouts.
The knight order, dismounting their horses as if falling off, desperately shuts the gate and affixes the bolt.
After a few moments sounds of knocking against the thick wooden gate reverberate. Furthermore, from the other side, the voices of the pincer attacking soldiers and the sounds of weapons clashing arise.
While listening to the frenzied uproar on the opposite side of the door, Stiffels dismounted.

“(What is Biron thinking to abandon the city!?)” (Stiffels)

Failing his plan, Stiffels looks ahead in the direction of the side facing the royal capital trembling in rage.
Even as he watches the road in front until it gets blurry, he can’t see the city’s residents.

“I will definitely kill you! After pulverizing the lot from Horant, it will be your turn, you son of a bitch!” (Stiffels)

☺☻☺

Earl Biron was at the end of the line of the escaping residents in Münster, close to the exit towards the royal capital.
At the beginning of the escape Sabnak asked Biron to be in the centre of the group because of the danger, but without yielding even a bit, Biron himself works alongside the rear guard of Sabnak’s Third Knight Order with only his wife and children having gone ahead.

“It’s been a while since I wore an armor. It feels uncomfortable.” (Biron)

Though it even has been a while since he last mounted a horse, Biron is carefree.
A single soldier rushes over to the mounted Sabnak and reports something.

“… The messenger came. Brother-in-law-san, it seems the enemy army arrived at Münster.” (Sabnak)

“Ah, the enemy army, eh? It is nice if they gather all together like this.” (Biron)

Feeling like he can hear the sounds of the death struggle in the far distance, Biron looks up to the sky while pondering.

“It will become easy if we can successfully meet up with Earl Tohno on the road leading to the capital after this.” (Biron)

The city’s residents have evacuated from the city beforehand. It has been decided that they will return once the battle finishes. As it is a city close to the national border, Biron naturally had plans for fleeing prepared, but he didn’t really believe that the day he would use those plans would ever come.
Although it was quite the burden on the residents, they had no choice but to make a clear decision of moving rather than loosing their lives.

“Certainly, if Hifumi-san arrives, it will probably decide the victory here.” (Sabnak)

If he properly identifies us as allies… Sabnak added within his mind.

“Sabnak, someone is approaching!” (Biron)

It was a single associated knight, but as he dismounted the horse he drew his sword while raising his voice to a roar.

“Brother-in-law-san, please stand back. We don’t know whether he is an ally or an enemy.” (Sabnak)

Descending from his horse, Sabnak draws his sword.
(Swordsmanship isn’t really my strong point, but whatever.) (Sabnak)
While hiding his sigh, Sabnak set up his stance cautiously and saw the First Knight Order’s Ribezal walking over gripping his spear. And as he lead the First Knight Order’s members, the figure of Prince Ayperos could be seen. Furthermore there was a single unknown man besides the prince.

“Captain Ribezal… Prince Ayperos!?” (Knight)

Someone from the Third Knight Order raised their voice in surprise.
But Sabnak had a bad feeling about this. There aren’t any chamberlains and exclusive guards with the prince. It’s a somehow strange situation. And he remembers he had seen people with such an aura drifting about somewhere.
Searching his mind for a few seconds, he recalled the incident Hifumi encountered in Fokalore.

“All hands, don’t lower your guard! These guys are controlled by a magic tool!” (Sabnak)

“Eh?” (Knight)

A single knight, being late in his decision for an instant, was pierced by Ribezal’s spear.

“Gue…” (Knight)

“You asshole!” (Knight B)

At once it turned into a melee.
The number of knights on either side is almost the same. Sabnak’s group thought it would be fine if they endured until the other members of the Third Knight Order and Biron’s territorial soldiers came running, but they were forced into hard fight exceeding their assumptions.

“These fellows keep on fighting even if they lose an arm!” (Knight)

“It is just as it was written in the report! Calm down and deliver fatal wounds!” (Sabnak)

“D-Don’t g-get c-c-closer!” (Knight)

The first Knight Order’s moves have become a little  bit dull due to the influence of the magic tool, however that doesn’t particularly change the fact that they are formidable opponents for the Third Knight Order, who isn’t accustomed to combat.

“And now you are my opponent… ?” (Sabnak)

In front of Sabnak, who has his sword at the ready, stands Ribezal pushing out his spear.
Although Ribezal’s eyes are unfocused like the ones of a madman, he has an uncommonly intimidating air.
(I see, this is where I die, I guess…) (Sabnak)
As pessimistic thoughts rise to the surface of his mind suddenly, he returns to reality due to the sound of wind being cut.

“Ooops, that was dangerous!” (Sabnak)

The spear lunges at him successively and although he could see that it was inferior to Ribezal’s ability he had seen before, it was barely at a speed Sabnak could evade.
Ribezal’s physical strength isn’t common either. Even stopping the thrusts with the sword’s core, he is pushed to the degree of tottering.
In contrast to Sabnak, who began to breathe heavily in the blink of an eye, Ribezal is calmly setting up his stance.

“He repelled these thrusts easily? Hifumi-san is a monster after all… uwa!” (Sabnak)

Suddenly being pushed from the back, Sabnak walks 2, 3 steps towards Ribezal.
Having Ribezal approach in front, Sabnak jumped to the side in a hurry rolling over on the ground and avoided the spear’s attack that way.

“Phew phew…” (Sabnak)

Scurrying away from Ribezal’s range, Sabnak stood up leaking a disgruntled voice.

“Who is a monster? And also, don’t try to recklessly compete with the range of a spear wielding opponent. Go ahead, forward with you.” (Hifumi)

Looking at the owner of that voice, Sabnak saw a youth with his sharp eyes with their dark pupils and his black hair and recognised him. As usual he wore weird clothes and the katana was affixed to his waist.
While holding the counterweight of the kusarigama in his hand and spinning it around in circles, Hifumi appears at the front without hesitation.

“H-Hifumi-san? No matter how you look at it, you are here too fast…” (Sabnak)

“This guy is my prey. You have missed your chance, slowpoke… ah?” (Hifumi)

Hifumi frowned due to Ribezal’s state and after looking around he sighed.

“He isn’t even conscious, huh? He became boring.” (Hifumi)

Shaking his head, Hifumi doesn’t care about Ribezal’s spear approaching him.

“W-Watch out!” (Sabnak)

Without even minding Sabnak’s shout, Hifumi avoids the thrust by having half his body turn sideways. He also slashes at the blade of the spear the moment its forward movement stopped and using the chains it doesn’t touch his body.
Hifumi, taking some distance by pushing the continuously thrusting Ribezal away with a front kick into his stomach, swung the counterweight once again and nailed it into the face of his opponent.
Although he has his nose in the center of the face smashed, Ribezal doesn’t cease to lunge at Hifumi with his spear.
One of Ribezal’s eyes leaps out of its socket and a large amount of blood flows from his eyes, nose and mouth.
Even so, Ribezal doesn’t stop.

“What a lifeless doll. Without having a reason to fight, his attacks etc. are no different from some kind of broken machine.” (Hifumi)

During the time he utters those words, Hifumi, avoiding the spearhead safely, roughly cuts at Ribezal’s arms injuring them in the process with the sickle (kama) held in his left hand.

“Hifumi-san, on top of not feeling any pain, those guys don’t feel anything like fear. Even if you plaster them with wounds… Huh?” (Sabnak)

As Ribezal’s movements gradually became sluggish, Sabnak tilted his head to the side in confusion.

“If it’s a living thing, it will have its body restricted after loosing a fixed amount of blood. It has nothing to do with pain or fear.” (Hifumi)

“I think you should know at least this much”, Hifumi said while Ribezal lost the strength to raise his arms and finally dropped to his knees.
Hifumi, storing away the kusarigama and quickly drawing the katana from his waist, assaulted the front of Ribezal’s armour.

“Found it~~” (Hifumi)

Hifumi tightly grabbed the magic tool, exposed to the air, with his left hand and forcibly tore it off.
Stretching the pipes embedded in Ribezal’s body, they are plucked out making a sound of *ripping*.
The spasming Ribezal, having all of the pipes torn off, collapsed lying spread-eagle while facing up.

“U…” (Ribezal)

“His consciousness has returned, eh?” (Hifumi)

Ribezal, having regained his senses, is bewildered at his own unmovable body.

“You b-bastard are… ! M-My body, what did you… ? What the heck happened… ?” (Ribezal)

“Don’t know. As far as I know, the only thing now waiting for you is death.” (Hifumi)

“What did you.. ?” (Ribezal)

Hifumi standing up and piercing the bare chest with the katana, lifted up the corners of his mouth as he sensed the feeling of the katana penetrating the heart being transmitted to his right hand.

“Umu. If you kill it has to be a human and not a doll.” (Hifumi)

While looking with great interest at the katana, which hasn’t much blood on it due to the blood having dwindled before, he wipes it with a paper and stores it in the scabbard.

“H-Hifumi-san, if Captain Ribezal’s consciousness has returned before, then…” (Sabnak)

Hifumi answered “That’s right” to the timidly approaching Sabnak.

“I took a chance and tested it out. Unexpectedly his consciousness returned completely. Dying without being aware of it is even for me stupid. It was a good discovery.” (Hifumi)

Sabnak and Biron, watching the whole thing from the start to the end, didn’t say anything to Hifumi, who showed an extremely pleased face, for a while.

“Well then, I am still not finished with my prey yet.” (Hifumi)

Taking out the chigiriki* as his next weapon and grasping it firmly, Hifumi, with a light stride without any fervour, heads towards the battlefield where the melee between the First and Third Knight Order continues.
Watching this, Sabnak yelled in a hurry,

“T-Third Knight Order. All members run awaaaaay!” (Sabnak)

☺☻☺

“I-It’s bad…” (Beirevra)

When the fight begun, Beirevra distanced himself a bit. Watching the death of Ribezal, he was stricken by fright.
Being under the influence of the magic tool, Ribezal, being a murdering doll without feeling any dread, wasn’t just lightly dealt with but also expressly had his consciousness returned before getting killed.
Due to the act which can’t be called anything but abnormal, Beirevra trembled in horror in regards of the man called Hifumi, not because of his strength but rather because of his madness.
When he tried to leave the battlefield by crawling as it was a good thing no one saw him, an intense pain traveled through his calf.

“Gyaaa!” (Beirevra)

While rolling around due to the sudden pain, he looked teary-eyed at his foot and saw some cross-shaped metal stuck there.

“W-What on earth is this?” (Beirevra)

A single girl approached Beirevra who couldn’t feel his foot due to the intense pain.

“Just when I caught up with Hifumi at last… I haven’t shown my gratitude to Hifumi for this good luck.” (Origa)

It is Origa slowly walking over with a shuriken in her right hand.
While her fair-skinned face is expressionless, he green pupils are leaking a powerful killing intent as she fixes her glare at Beirevra.

“Y-You bitch are…” (Beirevra)

“Ara, it seems you remembered.” (Origa)

Although it is just a trifling honor, she throws a second shuriken in the same way and also inflicts a wound on the yet unhurt foot.

“Guu…” (Beirevra)

Without being able to raise his voice already due to the pain, Beirevra clenches his teeth, frantically pulls out the shuriken and binds up the wound with a piece of ripped off cloth. Nevertheless, the blood doesn’t stop to spill.

“Won’t you help me… ? With my feet like this, there is nothing but death in the wild awaiting me by now. At least I want to die more calmly…” (Beirevra)

Beirevra, showing a disgraceful lamenting, anticipated help from the spy of Horant within his mind.
He continues his speech to gain further time as the pursuit isn’t coming.

“Therefore…” (Beirevra)

“Shut up.” (Origa)

Origa finished the casting during the time Beirevra wept and begged. The wind blades mercilessly sent one arm flying.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” (Beirevra)

Origa’s facial expression doesn’t even change a bit seeing Beirevra turning a somersault scattering his blood after having his arm cleanly cut off at the root of his shoulder while bawling with a *giddy laughter*.

“For you it is an appropriate way to die while grovelling on the ground like this frantically trying to survive. Have a disgraceful, uncouth and gruesome death. And only after that the possibility of me forgiving your deeds might appear.” (Origa)

By now, he isn’t capable to even talk anymore. Beirevra, restlessly stirring his injured feet and trying to move to escape the predicament, repeats his talking about help as if in delirium. Origa doesn’t listen to him.

“You probably don’t understand the humiliation we suffered. I don’t want you to understand it either. If we didn’t have the luck to be picked up by Hifumi, by now we would…” (Origa)

Drawing near to the struggling Beirevra, she tramples down on his abdomen and his movement ceases.
Beginning to have a hazy consciousness due to the blood loss, Origa is reflected in Beirevra’s blurry field of vision. He watched her taking off the dagger fixed to her wrist and grasping it tightly in her right hand.

“Hifumi-sama, I wish to express my gratitude. I am able to carry out my revenge with this. And, look Kasha, at the way our foe heads towards his death.” (Origa)

Origa, murmuring as if she is holding a conversation with someone bit by bit, swung down the dagger with all her strength towards Beirevra’s chest.
Being stabbed in the heart, it was an instant death for Beirevra.
Having pulled out the dagger, Origa noticed herself sobbing.
She doesn’t understand the reason for those tears either, but just by finishing her revenge, she could definitely feel the liberation of her own heart within her chest.


Translation Notes:

* The chigiriki is a Japanese flail weapon. It consists of a solid or hollow wood (sometimes bamboo) or iron staff with an iron weight and chain on the end, sometimes retractable. The chigiriki is a more aggressive variation of the parrying weapon kusarigama. It can be used to strike or entangle the opponent as well as to parry his blows and to capture or incapacitate an opponents weapon. (source: Jisho.org)

 


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