Not quite sure if it’s the right one, oh well…
(To read the previous chapter, you have to visit infinitenoveltranslations.net)
The gossip, that Hifumi is apparently looking for a marriage partner, spread within Orsongrande and was even circulated in Horant and Vichy, despite Alyssa’s and the civil official slave’s eager efforts.
The rumours, recounted by soldiers moving within the country and merchants going around the streets, has even reached Imeraria’s ears before long.
“… Someone will marry that Hifumi-sama?” (Imeraria)
“It’s a mere rumour, but since he has excellent civil officials at his side, I can’t deny the possibility of them proposing it for the sake of preserving the Earl Tohno household.” (Adol)
Although she agreed with Adol’s remark, she isn’t able to imagine some woman standing next to Hifumi and even less exchanging the vows of marriage with him.
Looking at Imeraria, who ended up silent while knitting her brows, Adol displayed a state of panic.
“N-No way, Your Excellency the Queen, about Earl Tohno…” (Adol)
Only after she started talking about it, the image of herself standing next to Hifumi appeared in front of her eyes.
Imeraria shook here head vigorously in denial.
“What are you saying? As queen I believe to know the requirements of the person I choose. Also, isn’t Hifumi-sama my enemy?” (Imeraria)
Adol can’t conceal his concerns in regards to Imeraria, who is blushing albeit denying it.
“R-Rather than such talk, I think we are to speak about the national politics now.” (Imeraria)
“Yes. However, regarding the policies introduced by the territory of that Earl Tohno, if you consider the scale of the capital and its surrounding areas for adopting the tax system, it will become something very troublesome. We probably should start with the staff getting used to it by experimentally introducing it in a distant province. However…” (Adol)
Flipping through the documents nearby, he hands over a piece of paper, that was inserted in-between, to Imeraria.
“This is a copy of the “family register” which had been transcribed from the territory of Fokalore.” (Adol)
“It’s amazing. They have investigated as far as birthplace*, their home-town*, relatives, who don’t live with them, the family members and their address?” (Imeraria) (T/N: Okay, this one needs a bit explaining: 出生地 = shusshouchi 出身地 = shusschinchi. Both might mean birthplace but there are differences, which depend on the conditions. shusshouchi is the legally written-down birthplace in the family register. shusschinchi can either be the place you were born, the place you were born and grew up and the place you grew up. If you are born and grow up in the same place, shusschinchi = shusshouchi.)
“As you can see by the attached materials, they have investigated things like the work details and recorded them.” (Adol)
While staring intently at the documents, she examines the record contents of one, she likely selected at random, as example.
“The reformation of the tax system also profits from this sort of accumulated information about the residents. That’s how it is. On grounds of these information, they have apparently been managing things such as marriages, births and deaths.” (Adol)
“Currently Fokalore has become the area with a more accurate budget compilation and population transition than anywhere else in the world. These data of the residents is even useful for stuff like the tracking and prevention of crimes and the prevention of slums being created by mediating work and confirming the enrolment,” Adol continues.
Listening to his explanation this far, Imeraria dropped her shoulders while putting back the documents.
“In a political meaning, you are saying that Hifumi-sama has gained plenty of heroic achievements. If only father and me didn’t make a mistake in the way of meeting with him, it might have been possible to make adequate use of Hifumi-sama’s power for the sake of the country.” (Imeraria)
Loneliness overshadows the expression of Imeraria.
Certainly, since our first meeting, there were only problems. In my imagination I yearned for a maiden-like bright love by meeting with a powerful, great brave-sama*, who is over overflowing with justice. (T/N: eiyuu = hero, yuusha = brave. My choice is like that because yuusha is the kind of hero to go with a party in a dungeon or challenge a demon lord, while eiyuu is someone admired for their deeds and achievements for the people by the people. Either can be the other as well, thus it’s just my personal distinction here.)
I don’t want to think I made a mistake, but didn’t I end up becoming a queen by some mistake? Isn’t this a dream? Even now she believes that.
“Overcoming the difficulties, Your Majesty has splendidly protected Orsongrande. There have been various dangers and many precious things were lost as well, however as result the country continues to exists, the realm has expanded and even now its growth is continuing.” (Adol)
Adol’s words are no lie.
Encouraging her by using facts, made Imeraria happy.
“Thank you. Well, then let’s pull ourselves together and proceed with the talks. Let’s decide on a place, where we will introduce the family register as trial for making a draft.” (Imeraria)
I will give it my all once again, Imeraria thought. Someday there will even come a day, where I can laugh at it while saying 「It was really difficult at that time」.
Being riddled with wounds all over, Balzephon sank in a pool of blood.
At the time he barely regained his consciousness, he wondered whether his body, which was hurting everywhere, was in pieces, however his body, which is reflected in his faint, returned field of vision, is somehow in perfect, good health.
“Survived… huh?” (Balzephon) (T/N: Cockroaches are hard to kill after all.)
The blood, spread in the surroundings, is a mix of the monster’s and Balzephon’s. As the bleeding of the monster, which has died with its huge frame having toppled sideways, has already stopped, Balzephon tried to crawl out of the sticky puddle, but his body isn’t moving properly.
“That woman… that weapon was the same thing called shuriken or something, which Vaiya gave the Royal Knight Order.” (Balzephon)
Somehow he shifts his neck. Once he surveys his surroundings, he saw a thin metal stuck in the roots of a tree.
“Tsk… in the end she is someone affiliated with that man called Hifumi or something, huh? Don’t haunt me wherever I go.” (Balzephon)
Fighting the deliriousness, he is remembering up to the point of being smashed by the swung forepaw and having somehow stabbed his sword in the throat of the monster.
Using up all his strength before being crushed underfoot the monster, he probably just managed to survive. The sword in front of him, being stuck in the monster as is, has been stained red by being drenched in blood.
“… Eh?” (Balzephon)
In the chest of the fallen monster he discovered an unnatural bulge right next to the place the sword was stuck.
Once he casually touched it with his hand, he knew that something hard was buried underneath the fur. As he was checking it by feeling around, he also found traces of stitched together sewing.
Mustering his remaining strength, he draws the sword, cuts the seams and thrusts his hand into the opened hole.
“What’s this?” (Balzephon)
The dragged-out item was clearly man-made.
Tubes are growing out of it and continue into the body’s interior. It appears to be parasitic.
“It’s that woman’s doing, eh? Probably…” (Balzephon)
He believed it was a tiger possessing a large build he hadn’t seen until now, but once he looked a bit closer, he found that it was similar to a monster with a bit shorter fangs. Although it was a tiger he encountered during the training of the knight order, it was a lot smaller and weaker at that time.
If the same tiger was under the effect of enhancement with the magic tool then, would it have been a ferocious monster possessing this large build?
And what would happen if it was used on humans as well?
“… As it is, even if I collapse here, I will simply die, huh?” (Balzephon)
Turning over so that he faces upwards, he raises his eyes towards the dull and cloudy sky.
Rather than dying here, shouldn’t I achieve my revenge even if I have to become a monster?
“I lost my knighthood and in the end I might even cease to be a human. That isn’t even a funny story.” (Balzephon)
Encouraging himself with his monologue, Balzephon, sitting up his body by straining himself with the last ounce of energy he possessed, began to carefully extract each pipe connected to the monster.
Origa, who left behind the forest where they abandoned Balzephon, came in contact with the rumour related to Hifumi’s marriage in a small town, where they stopped for resupplying.
“Would you tell me more details about this story?” (Origa)
The eyes of Origa, who passed a silver coin in a polite tone, are filled with strength and have become far too bloodshot. The green pupils, looking from underneath the hood, which she wore low over her eyes, can be seen as somehow shining in a dim light.
The shop’s old man, having the silver coin pressed into his palm with a strength that its shape embedded itself there, begged with nothing but teary eyes,
“P-Please stop. I also only heard it from a peddler at the time of stocking up.”
“Where did that peddler go then?” (Origa)
He had a feeling that the peddler, who told him about it, would go through a bitter experience, but the old man easily spit out the regularly used inn of the peddler.
“I thank you for the information.” (Origa)
I ended up selling my colleague for a silver coin, the old man was grieving after being released. Origa rushed to the inn at a quick pace.
From the story, spit out by the peddler after passing some money, Origa became aware of the facts that Hifumi had returned to Fokalore and started the territorial administration in full scale.
Somehow or other it’s a talk about whether he won’t marry someone in order to continue the territory on that occasion, but it seems to be spreading as rumour from nowhere else but Fokalore.
“Hifumi-sama is…” (Origa)
She tells the soldiers, who are following her, to check the remaining amount of magic tools.
As a result of continuing to implant them into powerful prime fields* all throughout the area from Horant to Orsongrande with a zealous effort, Origa’s group managed to quickly lower the amount of over 100 magic tools, they had at the beginning, down to 5 remaining. (T/N: prime field a is a math term. I think the author means here that they took the basic monster/animal types (no mutations or cross-breeds) and implanted the magic tools into those. Why it’s better to do this way though, no idea)
“… Even during our return to Fokalore, this remaining number can be easily dealt with…” (Origa)
Giving a prediction, which has a feeling of being strongly influenced by her desire, Origa decided to head towards Fokalore after staying one night in the inn she had rushed into. The soldiers were also happy that they would be able to return at long last.
“It will be a forced march until Fokalore. As we will advance close to the highway putting the core of our attention on our speed, take care to sleep restfully tonight.” (Origa)
The peddler, aware of Origa’s group staying in the same inn, paid the inn’s fee in a hurry and left in order to escape towards his next destination.
The Fokalore special unit, Origa’s group, pays no heed to such matters, rises early next morning and leaves the city behind alongside the rising sun.
While passing through several cities, they select monsters, which have a high fighting strength as their bases are bears and alligators, restrain them by weakening them with magic and weapons, embed the magic tool and release them. They perform this work many times over.
After all the magic tools have been used up, they run along the highway at full speed using a platform wagon.
“Very soon I will meet with Hifumi…” (Origa)
In Origa’s mind somewhat beautified memories of Hifumi were swirling about.
While the concealment caused some troubles, she is conceited about properly finishing her assigned mission. She also expects to be praised most likely. However, beyond that, at the thought of appealing for more, she has no confidence that she will be able to voice it out.
For a moment she considers to be rejected, even so it’s also a fact that Origa is the woman closest to Hifumi. She doesn’t plan to yield this spot to anyone else.
“Hifumi-sama, Origa will very soon return to your side. I continued to act separately from you for a long, long time. Therefore…” (Origa)
The words scattered into the wind were packed with desires leading somewhere beyond.
Although she is holding an exaggerated title called Military Director, Alyssa has been generally active at the actual site while leaving the majority of paperwork to Miyukare.
Her figure of training the soldiers and rewarding them for actively taking part while performing some tasks, without becoming a soldier herself, was received well even by the the fief’s population noticing that.
While shaking her red, short hair lightly, the small-built Alyssa is walking on the shopping street, eating a fruit similar to an apple and tasting the slightly sweet, freshly baked bread from a bakery. She produces a gentle and heart-warming mood wherever she goes.
While chewing on the fruit she arrived at last at the entrance of the city.
It’s a rule for those entering and leaving the city to be inspected by soldiers. Although it is an established custom to exempt nobles and wealthy merchants from another fief, Fokalore doesn’t permit that at all.
It is necessary to line up in order upon arrival without social status playing any role. It has been thoroughly followed according to the rules of the manual, but if you compare it with other cities, the soldiers’ treatment of remarkable commoners is soft. It was very popular with merchants, that are coming and going.
The soldier, spotting Alyssa’s figure, salutes delightfully.
“Director, thanks for your work!”
“Thank you. What’s your impression?” (Alyssa)
“Today the number of people trying to enter the city is small. It seems like the immigration drive is gradually calming down as well.”
Wanting to confirm the names and social positions of those having entered the city this time, Alyssa takes the documents, which recorded their objectives, and flipped through the pages.
There are many soldiers, who can’t write characters, but the literacy rate of Fokalore’s soldiers is 100%. In the first place, they won’t be allowed to enter the army unless they are able to read and write characters. This was also something decided by Hifumi.
Honestly, at the time she arrived at Fokalore, Alyssa was in a state of being able to read but her writing was quite disastrous. But thanks to Miyukare teaching her with constant attendance, she reached the point of being able to write quite the beautiful characters.
Finishing the check smoothly and signing it to show that, Alyssa returned the documents.
“If there is a problem, report it at once to the Lord’s mansion…” (Alyssa)
Past the soldier, opposite her, Alyssa saw something approaching at an abnormal speed on the highway stretching into the far distance.
“Something’s coming! Since it might be a monster, everyone get ready for battle! Someone go calling Hifumi-san!” (Alyssa)
The soldier, who dashed away after receiving the order, conveyed the instructions to everyone at the gate and they lined up facing towards the highway. A single, young soldier hurried towards the Lord’s mansion.
Alyssa, standing in front of those soldiers, draws her short sword.
“… Eh? That’s a platform wagon, right?” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who has the best eyesight in this place, noticed the something, approaching while raising a cloud of dust, to be a well-known vehicle.
I wonder who’s on it, sheathing her short sword, she strained her eyes and saw light blue hair fluttering in the wind, of which she had some recollection.
Tension travelled through Alyssa’s back with a shiver. Turning around in a hurry, she yells at the soldiers at this place,
“Contact Hifumi-san right away to wait in the Lord’s mansion for further messages! If they encounter each other in this place, it will turn into a disaster!” (Alyssa)
Due to Alyssa’s face’s colour changing, the soldiers began to run with a speed never seen before.
Meanwhile the platform wagon ridden by Origa arrived in front of the gate and stopped with a loud sound.
“Long time no see, Alyssa.” (Origa)
“Welcome home, Origa-san.” (Alyssa)
“Well then, I want you to let me through now.” (Origa)
Alyssa jumped and clung to the waist of Origa, who got off the platform wagon and tried to go ahead at a quick pace.
“W-Wait a moment!” (Alyssa)
“Get away. From now on I will have a match* betting my life.” (Origa) (T/N: shoubu… some of you might understand it better if I said, shoubu pantsu 😉 )
“Before you have that match, I think there’s something you have to do!” (Alyssa)
Origa, who was dragging along Alyssa as she walked, stopped her feet at those words.
“Something to do? Certainly you don’t want to tell me to have a match competing over Hifumi-sama, do you?” (Origa)
Alyssa doesn’t falter even as she is glared at by Origa, who is grasping the closed iron-ribbed fan tightly. The truly angry Origa is known for letting violence, instead of words, speak.
“No, no, it’s something else! Before you go to Hifumi-san’s place, isn’t it necessary to prepare for the sake of your battle? The current Origa has her hair unkempt and ruffled and her face covered in dust. Even your clothes…” (Alyssa)
Did she remember it only after being told so? Origa, looking down on her robe covered in dirt, vigorously apologized noticing her own mistake.
“E-Excuse me! Thank you for telling me!” (Origa)
“It’s fine. I’m a woman as well. It’s not like I don’t understand Origa-san’s feelings either.” (Alyssa)
Somehow I earned time for Hifumi to return to the Lord’s mansion, Alyssa clenched her fist imposingly within her mind.
“If I successfully become Hifumi-sama’s bride, I will recommend your case to Hifumi as well. Well then, before appearing in front of Hifumi, I will go back to my room.” (Origa)
“Yea. Don’t be in a hurry and take it easy. Hifumi-san should be in his own office.” (Alyssa)
“Many thanks”, Origa went away in good humour.
The soldiers, who returned together with Origa and were left behind afterwards, are sitting down in some place right after entering into the city feeling worn-out.
“U~~mm… Anyway, good work. Since you will have holidays for a while, rest up slowly, okay?” (Alyssa)
“T-Thank you very much.”
The soldiers, who felt like having been rescued from something, shed tears and line up words of gratitude towards Alyssa.
Maintaining the public order is difficult, Alyssa breathed a huge sigh.