A one-hit wonder…
It was because of the strange noise audible on the other side of the wall that caused Lotomago to notice the abnormality.
Suddenly hearing a sound of something hard hitting the wall, silence returned thereafter.
Lotomago has also been aware of the hidden pathways on the other side of the wall. He even knows that sometimes someone from the Royal Knight Order has been passing through there. Or rather Sabnak had consulted him about the permission to use it for travelling and he readily agreed.
“Is someone there?” (Lotomago)
Lotomago, feeling restless due to not receiving an answer, stood up. He told the maid to leave the room and call for some knights, but it was too late.
“Excuse me, Captain.”
It was 3 knights who entered the room without knocking. While they had already drawn their swords, one of them forced the maid to sit down in a corner of the room.
Turning her sight to Lotomago, the maid moved as she had been ordered by the knight.
Furthermore, around five knights entered from the exit of the hidden pathway.
A single one amongst them has been bathed in a spurt of blood.
“… That’s quite the appearance, but what’s your business?” (Lotomago)
“Well, it’s something simple. We want you to hold still here until everything has ended including you losing that position. That is your last task as captain.”
The knight, who entered first, explains calmly. Seeing Lotomago’s sight resting on the knight bathed in a spurt of blood, he laughs scornfully.
“As there were two knights on the other side of the wall intended to be your guards, we got rid of them.”
“You bastards…” (Lotomago)
“Uh-oh, please don’t resist pointlessly.”
Putting the sword, he held in his hand, at the throat of Lotomago, he says,
“If you don’t oppose us, we will safely release you as well as that maid. After you lost your position. Also, apart from that, we will loose our leeway if you resist too much, okay? We will be compelled to change our way of treatment not only towards you, Captain, but also towards Imeraria-sama.”
Looking at the maid, who is sitting down in a frightened state, Lotomago sighed and reseated himself on his chair.
“I don’t know what you’re planning to do, but… Balzephon, huh?” (Lotomago)
“Oya, it looks like you have suspected something. However, there’s no need for you to think about unnecessary things, Captain. Please wait obediently until we change this country and a new era begins.”
The intruding knights are grinning broadly while surrounding Lotomago.
The sighing Lotomago closed his eyes.
“It seems like there’s nothing I can do right now to change the situation here. As you said, I have decided to wait.” (Lotomago)
“A wise choice.”
The knights, confirming that there were no weapons close to Lotomago, left 3 behind and exited the room.
Lotomago, who watched their actions silently, gave more than a passing thought to the fate of these fools. Yesterday, Lotomago, sensing the uneasiness he felt from Balzephon’s state, discussed that matter with Hifumi.
He recalls the face of Hifumi at that time.
He only said nothing more but 「Understood」, but his expression showed an innocent smile as if being a child having received a present.
Suddenly hearing the laughter from the other side of the wall, the shoulders of Suprangel, who had a friendly chat with Nelgal, jumped in surprised.
“… Are they holding a party in the next room?” (Suprangel)
“I-I don’t know, but…” (Nelgal)
Isn’t this guy a bit too serious in replying to a joke? Suprangel pouts. Although he asked the maids within the room, they apparently aren’t aware of the circumstances either.
Since they don’t know what to do, they are patiently waiting inside the room. After a knock people entered. It’s the soldiers of Fokalore led by Alyssa.
“Hello, King-sama.” (Alyssa)
“Oh, the young lady from Fokalore, eh? What the heck is happening?” (Suprangel)
Apparently Suprangel was pleased with Alyssa’s simple-mindedness. He showed a facial expression of a good-natured old man towards her.
At the time he made this face for the first time, the servants from Horant, including Nelgal, made all together surprised faces, but by now they have already accepted it.
“Umm~ Hifumi-san has said a “rebellion” is starting. We came to guard King-sama.” (Alyssa)
“Rebellion? Despite the king of a foreign country being here? Oh well, it’s because I came quite abruptly. I will be able to feel safe, if it’s the young lady’s group protecting me.” (Suprangel)
“That’s right. Military Director Alyssa-dono, please treat our king well.” (Nelgal)
Nelgal, who quickly got up, very deeply bowed towards Alyssa, who was around two heads smaller than him.
“It’s alright, it’s not only king-sama. We’ve been told to protect all of you. For the time being, the people, who monitored this place, aren’t here anymore.” (Alyssa)
When Alyssa said that, Fokalore’s territorial soldiers dragged two limp knights out through a hidden door while laughing.
“Ah, director! We have cleared the enemy and gained total control over the hidden pathway. These guys were full of openings to a laughable degree compared to Lord-sama.”
“… I think you are making a mistake in the party you compare them to. Please continue to guard the pathway, okay? Tie the knight-san’s and lay them down in the pathway. The same for the other people as well, as planned.” (Alyssa)
“At last it’s actual combat after we went sightseeing in Horant”, the soldiers chatted lightly while they guarded inside and outside the room.
Hearing that, Nelgal is frowning.
“… Hidden pathway? Did you monitor us?” (Nelgal)
Towards Nelgal, who speaks as if subduing his anger, it was not Alyssa but Suprangel who moved and hit him with an iron knuckle (T/N: ゲンコツ is hitting someone from above with a fist on the head often seen in manga and such as punishment for someone making a rude remark)
“Idiot. It’s only natural to inconspicuously monitor for the sake of guarding and precaution. Despite the young lady’s group originally has no obligation to come protect us within the castle, what’s your manner of talking?! … Excuse me for my dimwitted successor.” (Suprangel)
“Er, well… It isn’t us who monitored you, but I can understand the unpleasant feeling of it.” (Alyssa)
“I’m very sorry…” (Nelgal)
Nelgal, whose head was completely hanging, hasn’t noticed Suprangel clearly mention him as “successor” to someone else.
There’s still some way to go before the goal*, Suprangel felt disappointed. (T/N: “madamadadane” those of you who watched prince of tennis will probably know this term very well ^^)
“So, what’s the matter with Hifumi-dono? If it’s that man, he’s someone to stand at the vanguard of such fighting scene.” (Suprangel)
Due to Suprangel’s question Alyssa folded her arms and tilted her head to the side.
“That is, I don’t know where he went. He only gave me my orders and ran off somewhere.” (Alyssa)
“Ho, that is…” (Suprangel)
Suprangel strokes his chin and laughs broadly.
“It looks like it will result in something enjoyable.” (Suprangel)
Vaiya was in a hurry.
With several knights not coming back at the time of their shift change and the person, who went to check, not returning either, there was no one to send to gather information either.
“What’s happening?” (Vaiya)
He judges it to doubtlessly be an abnormal situation. While feeling it to be inexcusable for the preparations of the guarding of the coronation ceremony, he has ordered the other knights to investigate and headed towards Sabnak’s room at a quick pace accompanied by a single knight for the sake of communication.
As he advances while feeling irritated by the long hallway, he finally reached the place that serves as Sabnak’s office. Several knights are gathering in front of its door.
Among them were also the figures of people who were reported to be missing.
Once a single knight became aware of Vaiya, he put his hand on the swords at his hips and approached.
“Just when I wondered who it was, isn’t it the Royal Knight Order’s Vice Captain-sama?”
“You, eh… ?” (Vaiya)
Vaiya remembered the man in front of him.
As colleague from the time at the Second Knight Order, he didn’t have many chances to meet him, but he was a person in the higher ranks within the order in regards to his mastery of the sword. At the time of Horant’s attack he was summoned to his family’s home and shouldn’t have participated in the battles, but apparently he came back without Vaiya knowing about it.
“I was surprised when I came back. The Second Knight Order has disappeared, something like a Royal Knight Order has been formed, Vaiya became a vice-captain and that … fellow from the Third Knight Order became the captain.”
Due to the other party talking as if making fun of it, Vaiya makes an effort and replies calmly,
“If you don’t like the changes, it’s fine for you to stop being a knight and go home. There’s no one stopping you.” (Vaiya)
“Don’t fuck with me! Though you are a traitor, who curried favours with the Third Knight Order! In spite of using swords to protect the nation, that man brought in weird weapons and spread them dirtying the dignity of knights. They stopped being knights.”
The other knights, agreeing with his words, shouted abuses at Vaiya and the Third Knight Order all over.
“… I feel I finally understood Earl Tohno’s meaning of disciplining the soldiers. I guess this is the reason why the Second Knight Order was defeated whereas Fokalore’s soldiers won the war.” (Vaiya)
“Humph, as expected of you, Vice-Captain. You seem to be skilled at talking. However, that’s how far it goes.”
Suddenly a pain ran through Vaiya’s back of the head.
Once he turned around while eagerly preserving to keep his consciousness, which was about to become hazy, he saw the knight, who accompanied him, there, although he stood holding his sword, still stuck in its scabbard.
Although he didn’t see his expression due to his blurry vision, he only realised one thing; him being a traitor belonging to the same organization too. While clenching his teeth and lamenting over his lack of a discerning eye, Vaiya lost his consciousness.
There was only one thing bothering him. Something had quietly passed him at the edge of his vision as he was on the brink of collapsing. As it was a person he has a recollection of wearing strange clothes with a wide hem, he heard a voice reprimanding him 「You don’t pay enough attention」.
Just before Vaiya finally arrived at Sabnak’s office, Sabnak swiftly drew his sword and confronted the knights who rushed into his room as opponents.
Slaying the knight, who tried a surprise attack, he has fallen over at Sabnak’s side.
“Tsk. Being done in by the level of someone of the Third Knight Order…”
The knight, who cursed looking at the corpse loathsomely, glares at Sabnak while holding his sword.
In addition there are two more knights there as well. One of them had turned his sword towards the maid, Shibyura, who was within the room.
“You came entering quite unexpectedly causing quite the situation, but what’s your business with me? Since I’m busy I’d like you to keep it short though, okay?” (Sabnak)
Sabnak was sweating buckets while cracking a joke.
He was somehow able to deal with the sudden attack as result of receiving coaching from Hifumi, but Sabnak, who has no more than the level of skill to decently compete with the lower ranks of the knight order, has only a small chance of winning.
“We want you bastard to become a sacrifice in order to establish a new knight order organization. Princess Imeraria will announce the new system at the coronation ceremony afterwards. It is expected for the Second Knight Order to play a central part in the creation of the new system. For that reason, Lotomago and you asshole are nuisances.”
“Did you go to the captain’s place as well… ?” (Sabnak)
“No worries, once he’s of no use, Lotomago will also follow you in death.”
With these words he swung his sword. Sabnak repelled it in an unsteady manner of using his hands.
“How long will you survive against two opponents? In the end it’s a test of your luck.”
Sabnak, who retreated to a corner of the room as if rolling over, was one way or the other successful in avoiding a state of being pincer-attacked.
However, while dealing with the two in the front, his wounds are slowly increasing.
“Come on, come on! Do you wish to be tormented to death as it is?”
“I hope to find a way to not die. I still haven’t even been married yet.” (Sabnak)
“Don’t get cocky!”
The sword of the enraged knight cut open Sabnak’s knee.
Sabnak, losing the way to stand up, somehow supported his body with the remaining, unhurt knee and defended against the sword swung down at his head.
The sword, carrying its own weight, gradually forced him down.
At that moment a scream could be heard at another place.
Once the knight, who isn’t entangled with Sabnak looked back, he saw the knight, who had watched Shibyura, fallen. Shibyura stood there holding a knife in her hands while trembling.
As the knight, brandishing his sword, approaches her, Shibyura closes her eyes and starts running passing by his side.
Once the ignored knight turned his sight in a hurry, he could see Shibyura headed towards the figure of his companion, who put even more weight into his sword to kill Sabnak.
“Watch your back!”
He called out in panic, but it was too late.
Shibyura, grasping her knife tightly, hurled herself into the flank of the knight and stabbed the blade deeply into the un-armoured part.
“Uh?! Y-You bitch!”
Shibyura let go of the knife and clung to Sabnak. The knight, who had the knife buried in his flank, raised his sword overhead and slashed not at Sabnak but Shibyura’s back.
Holding Shibyura, who has limply collapsed towards him, Sabnak screamed, but Shibyura, shedding large quantities of blood, breathed out dripping in sweat.
“Though to protect… someone important… hesitated… no good…” (Shibyura)
“Don’t talk recklessly! Cling to your consciousness strongly!” (Sabnak)
The knight, who had his flank stabbed, has fainted in agony. The remaining knight is approaching in rage.
“You dare to turn your blade at a knight! You, with a standing as maid!”
But, this yell became the knight’s last words.
The instant he finished saying them, the point of a katana stuck out from his throat.
Without even understanding what has happened to him, he writhes vomiting blood and before long he has parted this world.
Immediately following a little bottle came flying and hit Shibyura’s chin.
Sabnak, grasping the bottle in a hurry, realizes the true nature of it. Opening it quickly, he pours it on Shibyura’s back.
The wound on the back of Shibyura, who endured the pain with a frown, is healed in a twinkle.
Seeing this, Sabnak sighed in relief and looked up at the person who threw the magic potion.
“High-class magic potions have an amazing effect, Hifumi-san.” (Sabnak)
Hifumi, who finished off the remaining two knights, sheathed his katana and sat down on the sofa.
“Rather than something like that, I’d like you to give me a bit tea. If a person goes on a rampage, they will get thirsty. Ah, also, since Vaiya has collapsed in the hallway, retrieve him before someone steps on him.” (Hifumi)
“Though that’s difficult…” (Sabnak)
Gently laying down the fainted Shibyura, whose breathing has calmed down after the wound healed, Sabnak smiled bitterly.
“She ended up using all of the magic potion. My knee is cut without change. To be blunt, it awfully painful making it impossible to stand up.” (Sabnak)
An additional bottle hit Sabnak’s forehead.