Cover of the original from 1973
After they regained their consciousness and entered a state of exhaustion where it was possible to tell that they were safe with a single glance, the soldiers from Horant escaped the effect of the magic portion successively.
They numbered 252. When all of them regained their consciousness, all the knights were totally exhausted.
“For the time being they will be put under house arrest with added monitoring in a reserved inn, but…” (Sabnak)
Sabnak visited Biron’s mansion and gave a report. Since he ran around after the first soldier’s recovery, his eyes are showing thorough dark circles. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations. If you read it anywhere else but there you are supporting thieves.
“Thanks for your work. As for their treatment, if we liberate them or arbitrarily enslave them here, they will be afraid.” (Biron)
“I’m off to give a report. It would be great if we could finish it as peaceful as possible.” (Sabnak)
“It will be alright. At any rate, they seem to be new candidates to join the fief’s population as far as Earl Tohno is concerned about the soldiers from Horant.” (Biron)
Biron talked about the possibility of sending them to the aforementioned territory, where they, far from being treated terribly, will be welcomed heartily. With a smiling expression he is looking somewhere far away.
“… Certainly, if it’s Hifumi’s territory, it appears that the livelihood of the populace has become abundant. Having a high popularity amongst the fief’s population, the fame of the Knight of the Thin Sword is apparently continuously rising.” (Sabnak)
“Moreover, because of the many staff members and civil officials, things related to the administration are also stable,” Sabnak explained the details of the report that came from the knight order.
“He will increase his population once again. Furthermore, the people coming from other fiefs might increase as well. Regardless of it being legal or illegal. As noble he is ideal in a certain way, isn’t he?” (Biron)
“Ideal… it is?” (Sabnak)
Biron unintentionally burst into laughter due to Sabnak showing a face of not understanding.
“Ahhaha! That doesn’t mean that I want to go around killing people like that either. I’m envious of him being able to immerse himself in something he likes while enriching the public finances and the fief’s population. That’s what I mean.” (Biron)
“After all, any kind of noble, if they somehow struggle with a tight financial budget, would want to increase their own share. Although they are frantically managing their territory, Hifumi practically leaves almost all of the decision-making to his subordinates. And yet, without him even settling down in his territory, his territory’s administration fascinates the people more than that any other fief. On top of that they are operating with their balances in the black”, Biron pointed out.
“I see…” (Sabnak)
If one doesn’t only keep an eye on the strange habit of the person himself, one might see him as an excellent feudal lord.
“Well, even if he might be an excellent feudal lord, you can’t really say that he is a good noble.” (Biron)
“If he were a good noble, first he wouldn’t act in a way of exposing his own country to danger and next he wouldn’t kill royalty of his own country.” (Biron)
As Biron shook his head with a bitter smile, Sabnak became aware that he had been splendidly corrupted by Hifumi.
In Horant’s royal castle the king, Suprangel, in a state of entrusting his aged, skinny body to the throne, can’t conceal his face burning with anger. This translation is copyrighted by Infinite Novel Translations.
“For the time being, let’s listen to your story… ?” (Suprangel)
Kneeling in front of the throne is the royal grandson, Veldone.
With a face full of mortification and an appearance of clenching his teeth, one wouldn’t consider this gruff man as royalty at all.
“… 2 of the covert operatives sent to Orsongrande haven’t returned. Even the 500 soldiers, having finished the adjustment to the magic potion, Elrik, were killed in action or taken prisoner by the enemy…” (Veldone)
The king had already heard the details of the story up to here.
“So, what’s the cause of the failure… ?” (Suprangel)
The question, spoken with a hoarse voice, puts a maximum pressure on Veldone.
“That is…” (Veldone)
Swallowing his spit, he continues his words.
“The military forces overwhelmed the Second Knight Order. All was fine until they decided to turn the First Knight Order into puppets with magic tools using the convert from Vichy. They advanced to the enemy nation’s territory. Once they finally arrived at the city of Münster, the covert operatives were defeated reducing the soldiers to lifeless dolls…” (Veldone)
“Who defeated them?” (Suprangel)
“… A rising noble of Orsongrande called Tohno.” (Veldone)
The king sighed deeply as Veldone squeezed out the name with a feeble voice.
“Isn’t that the noble you said stirred up trouble with Vichy? Wasn’t it you, who talked about this man going to war against Vichy?” (Suprangel)
Veldone can’t return an answer towards the king’s inquiry. A yet unseen hatred is surging within his heart against this noble called Tohno.
“In short, it appears as if you misread the stage… At that time you said Orsongrande would never invade here for the sake of avoiding military operations on two fronts, including Vichy, but… since Vichy apparently already lost, I don’t know what will happen with you estimation. According to the part I’ve heard, the man called Tohno is referred as Knight of the Thin Sword. Although you can’t call him someone having a line up of military exploits…” (Suprangel)
“Never! According to the information, the man called Tohno has arrived at Münster with a small number of people. Furthermore, I have also obtained the news that the First and Second Knight Order have been destroyed! Besides, the possibility of them coming to invade in reverse is…” (Veldone)
The king once again shows a grim face due to Veldone spontaneously standing up and objecting.
“We have obviously been deceived well by the small reinforcement, don’t you agree?” (Suprangel)
“Uh… B-But, although being called soldiers, they were gathered from within the population. So they won’t have much of an impact even if they were used and then thrown away…” (Veldone)
“If people infinitely gushed forth from the populace, no statesman of any nation would have any hardships either. If the people decrease, the tax yields of their labor will decrease as well. For you to not grasp this…” (Suprangel)
Veldone holds his tongue due to the rebuking words of the king.
“The talk about handing over the throne to you has been postponed indefinitely. It is currently too early for that. Work on preparing the defenses now.” (Suprangel)
Being told to withdraw, Veldone leaves the audience room in silence.
“He will probably learn something from this. That not anything and everything moves as he wants.” (Suprangel)
As the king’s monologue resounded in the quiet audience room, the chamberlains and civil officials didn’t utter even a single word.
“Well then, those of you, who are informed about the magic tools of Horant, raise your hand.” (Hifumi)
Since they didn’t even fit in the dining hall of the inn, the former soldiers from Horant, gathered in a plaza, were baffled by the young man, standing on a hastily made platform, telling them this order without even introducing himself.
“Who are you? Tell us why we are here!” (Soldier)
“Ah, I see. Someone else will explain to you why you are here afterwards since it’s too troublesome. I’m called Hifumi. More or less I’m a noble of Orsongrande. Also, I will kill you, if you talk about unnecessary things from now on.” (Hifumi)
Although the soldiers couldn’t process the forthright killing warning with their brains, for some reason all of them believed him seeing the seriousness in Hifumi’s eyes.
Sabnak, who had climbed the platform together with Hifumi, one way or another spreads a smile in that bloodthirsty atmosphere.
“Well you know, due to the suggested method of him we were able to free you from the effects of the magic potion. It looks like Horant turned you into puppets with the magic potion, used you and killed many of you. Given that we were able to shelter those surviving the battle, we could save you with a method designed by this Hifumi-san.” (Sabnak) Support the translators by reading this series on their blog, else they will sooner or later disappear.
The soldiers are looking at each others faces due to Sabnak’s explanation.
Although they are not quite believing it, many are apparently thinking that it’s a fitting reason explaining their present state.
By the way, Sabnak’s explanation is containing many parts he has been forced to say to a certain degree by Hifumi.
“That’s how it is. Therefore, hurry up and comply with my order. Those of you, who know something about the magic tools from Horant, raise your hand.” (Hifumi)
Bit by bit several hands can be seen. All of them are told to go into the dining hall of the inn.
“Those of you remaining ask this fellow about the story.” (Hifumi)
Having finished his business, Hifumi ends up quickly heading into the dining hall of the inn. A woman, with an age you would consider to be the one of a girl, went up on the platform in front of the remaining soldiers next.
“I’m Hifumi-sama’s chamberlain, Origa. Let me, together with my master, express our joy for all of you to recover.” (Origa)
It is a polite greeting, but will your master be pleased with that? Everyone inclined their heads to the side.
“Everyone has three choices. First, becoming a free man allowing you to go wherever you want. Second, starting a new life in the territory of Hifumi-sama. Third, returning to Horant.” (Origa)
Origa, discovering a timidly raised hand, gently smiles.
“Do you have any question?” (Origa)
“Umm… I thought we would be treated as enemies, but is it alright to free us, not to mention even allowing us to return to our country?” (Soldier)
“Of course, it is. However…” (Origa)
After clearing her throat with an ahem, Origa speaks.
“Naturally we won’t guarantee you anything concerning your life afterwards even if you are released. Although we haven’t laid our hands on the things you wore, we won’t give you anything like money to cover the costs of preparations and such. And in the case you picked the choice of returning to Horant, …” (Origa)
Her lovely smiling facial expression collapsed in an instant.
“Hii…” (Soldier) All credits for this translation belong to Infinite Novel Translations.
Someone raised a frightened shriek.
“Since you will become our enemy, I can’t guarantee how many of you will survive after crossing the border. Horant will disappear within a few days by Hifumi-sama’s hands. During that period people, who are basically a nuisance, will be massacred. Since everyone, who returned there, will likely once again receive the drug and come back to the battlefield, they will immediately be turned into corpses then and there.” (Origa)
“If you have the resolve for that, please go ahead and return home,” Origa says.
Everyone has their breath taken away. Even Sabnak, who listened next to her, is stiffening.
“W-Well, if it’s Hifumi… -sama’s territory, how will we be treated there? Will we be made into slaves after all?” (Soldier)
While being glared at for almost forgetting to attach -sama, the young soldier somehow managed to finish his question. Origa showed a smile. If the previous intensity didn’t exist, they might even have regarded her as very charming.
“Nothing like that will happen. Once you properly registered as citizen, you will be referred to a workplace that fits you as much as possible. It’s no problem for you to use the lodging house of the government administration for a while. If you have the aspiration, we will even hire you as soldiers and staff members.” (Origa)
In one go it began to get noisy due to that proposal.
A far too nice treatment, isn’t it a trap?
And However, there is no other choice.
(Well, that’s how it will turn out, right?) (Sabnak)
Sabnak looked at their state harboring sympathy, but there were mostly people, who were apparently forcefully enlisted. Don’t they have family? It seems they are people with the same circumstances being recruited at the same time.
Since they mostly made use of close-by soldiers for their human experiments, they probably chose people in a position of “There won’t be any complaints” on purpose, Sabnak judged.
In the end all of them decided to move to Fokalore after staying in Münster for a short while. It was arranged that they would accompany the Fokalore territorial soldiers once they returned.
“What will happen if the territorial soldiers from Fokalore don’t return from Horant?” (Soldier)
Someone asked that question. Origa glared at him with a degree of pressure causing the soldier’s body to petrify. For around 3 hours they had to listen to a speech about Hifumi’s magnificence and what unrivaled strength he is boasting of. They got stuck receiving another kind of mind-control.
After that, all of the former soldiers from Horant became submissive towards Origa.
“… Understood. It’s fine for you guys to join the other guys now. Ask someone suitable to tell you the story.” (Hifumi)
At the time Origa’s public preaching took place on the plaza, Hifumi finished listening to the explanation about the magic tools from the soldiers of Horant in the dining hall.
In the capital city of Horant, Adolamelk, the institutions related to magic research are concentrated in the vicinity of the castle. Excellent magicians are gathering there. It seems that it has turned into an organisation of collecting all of their results, in their pursuit in military arts and research, at the royal castle.
As consequence, the commercialized products, after passing a certain time, are published and granted to Horant’s merchants and a part of Vichy’s merchants by the royal castle. It has taken a shape of constantly preserving the superiority of the royal castle in magic technology.
“In other words, it’s best if I ignore the others and head to the capital.” (Hifumi)
“It’s fine, if it isn’t too problematic,” Hifumi laughs.
“There might be difficulties because soldiers, using magic, are gathered there, but, well, I will somehow deal with it, I guess. Let’s have the nation disappear by getting rid of the king while I’m at it. I want to see whether it would develop into a fight between local warlords in case the system of the central government ended up collapsing.” (Hifumi)
While complaining dissatisfied by himself that Vichy didn’t succumb to the degree of chaos he planned, Hifumi ordered a meal from the inn’s employee. Read this on Infinite Novels Translations’ blog instead of on the site of a thief
This inn isn’t the one Hifumi is staying at, but since the middle-aged female employee was given detailed and precise instructions about what kind of person Hifumi is and how to deal with him by the Third Knight Order, she quickly lays out Hifumi’s order.
First she served a stew dish similar to pot-au-feu containing root crops all over which apparently is a specialty of this city.
“I see, I see. It’s slightly bland but the taste of the vegetables is deep.” (Hifumi)
Looking at his state of stuffing the vegetables into his mouth with a satisfied and friendly smile, the employee was baffled by this as she couldn’t see him as such a scary person.
Her impression doesn’t match with the bloody story she was told in a way of bad-mouthing him not long ago.
“Did I interrupt you?” (Knight)
“I looked for you,” it was a knight affiliated with the Third Knight Order whose voice reached Hifumi. It was the man who called out to Hifumi at the time the group of soldiers from Horant came to a standstill. Currently he was helping out at the Third Knight Order. His name was Vaiya.
“Ah, it’s you, eh?” (Hifumi)
“The troops of Earl-sama have arrived. Just, that… the person calling herself military director…” (Vaiya)
Somehow it seems he is hesitating whether he should say that he believes Alyssa to be too young.
“That person, despite appearance, is reasonably powerful since she has been forged under my guidance. Hmm, well I guess her appearance is a bit odd though.” (Hifumi)
“Ah, I have certainly entrusted Alyssa with the territorial army. That’s right, lead the soldiers to a suitable place where they can rest and bring Alyssa here.” (Hifumi)
Having his doubts cleared up, Vaiya returned an invigorated reply.
“Sorry for using you although you aren’t even my subordinate.” (Hifumi)
“Please don’t mind it. Thanks to you my head is still connected to the neck. I will do my utmost to return this favor.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya leaves in order to call Alyssa.
Hifumi ordered another serving of stew for Alyssa and other additional dishes for himself.
“Now then, at last it looks like the preparations have been put in order.” (Hifumi)
With the goal of invading the country of Horant, Hifumi’s mood was uplifted.